January 2014

January 28, 2014                                                                               


            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is using the improved ranking of New York’s milk production in the nation to demonstrate the value of upstate’s agricultural economy. New York recently passed Idaho to become the third largest producer of milk in the nation. New York’s milk production increased by 2.2% in 2013, compared to 0.4% growth nationwide, which demonstrates the importance of milk production to the upstate economy.

            “The upstate agricultural economy is vital to New York’s success, and news of our increased milk production is a good indicator of this fact. Not only is New York’s milk going directly to consumers, it is also going to produce other growing New York products, such as yogurt and cheese,” said Hawley. “We must make sure to enact policies that encourage the growth of our state’s agricultural economy. I will be keeping a careful eye on how the budget proposal affects our family farms and advocating for policies that help them grow.”

            New York’s dairy industry comprises the largest portion of its agriculture economy, and is the number one producer of yogurt in the country, churning out a total of 695 million pounds. Hawley has supported New York’s farming economy by passing the two percent family farm tax cap, calling for reduced agricultural regulations, and promoting initiatives to market New York farm products.

 January 28, 2014                                                                               



            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is reminding his constituents that the deadline for volunteer firefighters to apply for college tuition aid through the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York’s Higher Education Learning Plan (FASNY HELP) is February 3. This program has been developed to encourage volunteerism and help college students pay for the ever-increasing cost of a college education. Hawley does not want any young firefighters in his district miss out on tuition aid because they were not aware of the FASNY HELP program.

            “The fine people at FASNY have a great program to help volunteer firefighters with their college tuition. If you are a volunteer firefighter trying to put yourself through college, please do not hesitate to take advantage of the program,” said Hawley. “The time and sacrifice our volunteer firefighters give to their communities is commendable, and the FASNY HELP program is the least we can do to show our gratitude for their service.”

            The FASNY HELP program allows community college students to receive up to 100 percent tuition reimbursement for up to 80 credit hours while serving as volunteer firefighters and maintaining their grades. To be eligible for the FASNY HELP program, you must first complete your local fire department’s volunteer membership process and the Volunteer Fire Department Commitment form.

For information on the program and how to apply, visit http://www.fasny.com/index.php/resources/fasny-help/

email [email protected],  Attn: John D’Alessandro, Deputy Volunteer Programs Coordinator

or call FASNY toll free at (855) 367-6933.

January 27, 2014                                                                               




Assemblyman Steve Hawley presents former Assemblyman Charles Nesbitt with the resolution that was passed in honor of Nesbitt’s receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross for his heroic rescue of a soldier during the Vietnam War.

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today passed a resolution in the Assembly honoring former Assemblyman Charles Nesbitt, who received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions as a 20 year old helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War. Hawley, who succeeded Nesbitt in the Assembly, spoke of his heroism and the reasons why his Distinguished Flying Cross is well deserved.

            “It was a humbling honor to speak about Charlie’s heroics during the Vietnam War. His life is a shining example of service and sacrifice on behalf of his country, and I hope that as his successor, I have fulfilled that legacy,” said Hawley. “The Distinguished Flying Cross is one of the highest honors a pilot can receive. It is our duty to make sure that the story of his heroics is told so that future generations may be inspired to serve their country.”

            Nesbitt’s heroics occurred on November 14, 1968, when he was tasked with extracting a Special Forces unit out of Laos. Under enemy fire and with one chopper in the force crashing in the jungle, Nesbitt picked up the crew and left. However, it was soon discovered that one man, John Grimaldi, had been left behind. Though low on fuel, Nesbitt turned his helicopter around and successfully rescued Grimaldi under intense enemy fire.

January 27, 2014                                                                               




Assemblyman Steve Hawley introduces the APPLE Plan

with fellow Assembly co-sponsors 

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) rolled out the Assembly Minority conference’s APPLE Plan to reform Common Core. The APPLE Plan, which stands for Achieving Pupil Preparedness and Learning Excellence, was created over the course of five months with the input of parents, students and teachers at 11 forums across New York. The APPLE Plan includes:

  • Stopping the rushed implementation of the Common Core State Standards;
  • Providing funding for professional development;
  • Eliminating the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA);
  • Reducing the over-reliance on student testing;
  • Reasserting that an IEP is the supreme document for the education of a child with special needs; and
  • Requiring that parents must consent to any disclosure of student information to a third party.

            “The Common Core mandates are a massive overreach of government power because they were implemented without the input of parents, students, and teachers or legislative approval. The APPLE Plan is our effort to rein in the Common Core mandates and restore sanity to our classrooms,” said Hawley. “There is considerable anger about Common Core, so the people who are responsible for its implementation in our state need to take a hard look at our plan, and I’ll be making sure they do.”

January 22, 2014                                                                               

Hawley on Executive Budget: The Math Doesn’t Add Up 

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is skeptical of the governor’s executive budget which was laid out today in Albany. Hawley notes that this proposal is a starting point in negotiations over the budget and will be changed before a final product is passed in late March. In that time, Hawley will be working to improve the budget by supporting the good elements and seeking to have the bad parts removed. Overall, Hawley’s impression of the budget is that the numbers do not add up since increases in education spending and tax relief measures are both larger than the surplus the governor is touting.

            “The governor certainly rolled out some bold ideas for tax relief and increased education spending. However, I do not see how the math adds up. This budget proposal includes $2.2 billion in overall tax relief and $3.8 billion in increased education spending, when we supposedly only have a $2 billion surplus projected for 2017,” said Hawley. “I will investigate this further, but it seems to me that this proposal would put our state into debt. If this does not put our state in debt, then the money must be coming from somewhere, possibly from other important programs and services.

            “A more realistic tax relief plan would involve eliminating some of the unnecessary mandates handed down to municipalities by Albany. For example, the state forces counties to spend more on Medicaid than any other state in the country. This is why our property taxes are so high. Curbing spending on this and other mandates would have a much greater impact on property taxes on New York.”

            Hawley is also blasting the governor’s proposal for taxpayer bankrolled political campaigns. This proposal would give taxpayer dollars to politicians to use on commercials, mail pieces, robo-calls, and other annoying campaign materials that hard-working families are bombarded with during campaign season. Hawley strongly opposes this idea and will fight to have it removed from the budget.

            “Taxpayer bankrolled campaigns are essentially welfare for politicians. Taxpayer money should be given back to the overtaxed families of Western New York before it is spent on endless political commercials and mailers,” said Hawley. “I am going to fight against this proposal and redirect this money back to the taxpayers who actually need this money.”

January 17, 2014                                                                                

Hawley Condemns Cuomo’s Comments on Extreme Conservatives 

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is defending the views of his constituents by condemning Gov. Cuomo’s recent comments about people who he perceives as “extreme conservatives”. Hawley believes that a governor who says that a significant percentage of New York’s population has no place in the state should not be the governor.

            “The governor’s comments about my constituents are offensive and are a Freudian slip which reveals what he truly thinks of upstate New Yorkers. He has no right to come to upstate New York and call himself governor when he has such obvious disdain for its people,” said Hawley. “The majority of Upstate New Yorkers are pro-Second Amendment and believe in traditional family values. If the governor does not think the good people of upstate New York have a place in New York, he seems to be doing a good job of driving our families out of the state with his highest-in-the-nation taxes and infringements on our rights.”

            In an interview with a statehouse news reporter, Cuomo said of the conservatives, “Their problem is not me and the Democrats; their problem is themselves. Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are and they’re the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”

            Hawley is also using this incident to push the importance of his Two New Yorks legislation, which would place an initiative on the ballot to allow New Yorkers to vote on whether or not they want to split New York into two states. In the last year, the governor has trampled on the Second Amendment rights of the people and openly stated that those who disagree with have no place in New York. Hawley says these actions by the governor should motivate upstate New Yorkers to defend their rights and their dignity against these attacks.

January 16, 2014                                                                                

Hawley Promoted to Assistant Minority Leader

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) announced today that he has been promoted from Minority Whip to Assistant Minority Leader of the Assembly Minority Conference. In his new role, Hawley will help create conference policy initiatives, urge his fellow legislators to support pro-job creation proposals and better advocate for his constituent’s concerns.

            “I am humbled to be picked for this important role in the Minority Conference. I plan to use this new position to give voice to my constituents and promote policies that create jobs, lower the tax burden on Western New York families and protect our country’s veterans,” said Hawley. “I thank Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb and my colleagues for trusting me with this task. With their support and the support of my constituents, I look forward to serving in this role.”

            “I am pleased to announce the promotion of Assemblyman Steve Hawley from Minority Whip to Assistant Minority Leader,” Leader Brian Kolb said. “Assemblyman Hawley has been a staunch supporter of small businesses and farmers, and he understands the importance of creating jobs and improving the economy. He has served in our armed forces, is a successful businessman, been active in his community and has consistently been a strong voice for his constituents. Assemblyman Hawley will undoubtedly use his unique background, skill set and strong work ethic in his new position to help effect meaningful change in New York. I look forward to working with him to improve the lives of all New Yorkers.”

January 13, 2014                                                                                

Hawley Joins ‘Shot Heard Round NY’ Protest in Le Roy

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) joined fellow Second Amendment defenders in Le Roy in a protest of the SAFE Act dubbed as the ‘Shot Heard Round NY’. The protest, which was held in anticipation of the one year anniversary of the passing of the SAFE Act, united Second Amendment advocates and served as a reminder that anger over the SAFE Act has not subsided and will remain as long as the unconstitutional law stands.

            “Though this is a painful anniversary to be marking, it is critically important that we remember what happened under the cover of darkness last year in Albany,” said Hawley. “The Second Amendment rights of the people were trampled upon, and we are using this anniversary as a reminder that we have a long struggle ahead to win those God-given rights back. Upstate New Yorkers everywhere are standing together to get this law repealed.”

            The ‘Shot Heard Round NY’ protest was held at gun clubs all across New York, with the Le Roy protest bringing about 80 gun owners to the Northwoods Sportsman Club on Gulf Road. At precisely noon, protestors lined up and fired a single shot in solidarity with each other and their constitutional rights.


January 8, 2014                                                                                 

Hawley on 2014 State of the State: Let’s Walk the Walk on Tax Relief

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is responding to the governor’s 2014 State of the State address by challenging him to deliver the tax relief he has promised. Hawley wants to see the governor actually deliver on his rhetoric to bring significant tax relief to upstate New York families.

            “It is normal for politicians to talk about tax relief in an election year, but usually, the so-called relief that is delivered is not enough to give our middle-class families the help they need,” said Hawley. “If the governor is the leader he claims to be, he will pass a tax relief package that takes money from Albany’s special interests and puts it in the pockets of upstate New York’s families. Also, the governor needs to deliver on an unfulfilled promise to pass mandate relief for our counties and municipalities, which would help lower property taxes.”

            In addition to calling for tax relief, Hawley renewed his pledge to fight for the Second Amendment rights of upstate New Yorkers. He hopes the courts will find the NY SAFE Act unconstitutional and has also introduced legislation to repeal the SAFE Act in order to hold those who passed it accountable for their actions.

            “We are approaching the one-year anniversary of the passage of the SAFE Act. This should renew all Second Amendment advocates’ deep resolve to get this unconstitutional law repealed. I have been working for the past year with Second Amendment advocates to organize our opposition to the law, and I will continue that fight in the coming year,” said Hawley.

            Hawley is also pushing for a vote on his “Two New Yorks” bill. This legislation would allow counties to place an initiative on the ballot on whether the citizens want New York to be split into two states due to the divergent interests of upstate and downstate New York.

            “Since the SAFE Act was rammed down the throats of the people of upstate New York under the cover of darkness, the frustration with downstate special interests has grown exponentially. When combined with the highest in the nation taxes and unending regulations imposed by downstate bureaucrats, upstate New Yorkers deserve to have their voices heard on whether or not they want to continue to be linked with downstate New York,” said Hawley.



January 3, 2014                                                                                 

Hawley: Magazine Limit Was Struck Down, SAFE Act Still Stands;

Remain Vigilant in Defense of the Second Amendment

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is advising his constituents to remain vigilant in defense of their Second Amendment rights in light of the recent Federal Court ruling that upheld most of the flawed SAFE Act. A small victory can be claimed after the provision restricting ten round magazines from holding more than seven bullets was struck down. This ruling, however, upheld much of the law, most notably the registration requirement for so-called assault rifles. Hawley wants to remind his constituents that this ruling is not the final word on the law, as further appeals are likely.

            “This ruling reveals the cracks in the shaky foundation of the SAFE Act, and hopefully the next round of appeals will topple this unconstitutional law entirely. I caution everyone not to get too high or too low about this ruling since it is definitely not the last word,” said Hawley. “It is encouraging to see that the restriction on ten round magazines was struck down, but the majority of the law was upheld, which means that, as Second Amendment supporters, the fight continues.”

            In addition to the seven round limit being struck down, another encouraging sign from the ruling was Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny’s admission that so-called ‘assault weapons’ and ‘large capacity magazines’ may be considered in ‘common use,’ a legal benchmark set by the Supreme Court that curtails how government may regulate them. Hawley believes that admission could be used in the next appeal to strike down the law entirely.

            “As supporters of the Second Amendment, we must remain vigilant and continue to actively speak out against this infringement on our constitutional rights,” Hawley added. “This law has sparked a massive backlash that those who helped pass the SAFE Act will have to answer to. The battle is far from over. I will continue to help lead the effort to get our Second Amendment rights restored."



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