January - April 2019

April 24, 2019                                                                                                              


            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has strongly condemned the Assembly Majority’s proposal (A.4319) to automatically consider parole of prisoners once they turn 55 years old, regardless of their crimes or imposed sentence. 

            “Making time in prison easier has become the platform of New York’s big-city progressive politicians,” Hawley said.

            “First it was free computer tablets and pay raises for inmates, then it was pardons and voting rights for violent felons as they go on parole and now shorter sentences no matter how horrific the crime – abhorrent,” Hawley continued. “If adopted, this bill could result in violent criminals being released from prison before their prison sentence is fully served. Judith Clark and Herman Bell living among us, one who murdered police officers and another who helped murder police officers, would become the new normal in New York.”

            Hawley has opposed many of the soft on crime measures enacted in Albany this legislative session. Chief among these is the closure of three state prisons, terminating hundreds of jobs and jeopardizing the safety of constituents.    

            “This is an outrageous proposal that jeopardizes the public at large and insults crime victims across the state. I will do everything in my power to not allow New York to become a hotbed for progressive social experiments and I am committed to continuing my fight against these dangerous proposals,” Hawley concluded.


            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is urging constituents, local officials, Second Amendment advocates, Rod & Gun Club members and anyone involved with youth marksmanship programs to call or write their local representative and Gov. Cuomo requesting a veto of legislation that could virtually wipe out all youth shooting competitions and training for young people under 16 years of age.

            The so called “Safe Storage” bill, which Hawley voted against, places unnecessary and ambiguous restrictions on the storage and incapacitation of firearms for those who do not own them and could put an end to youth marksmanship in New York.

            “As we’ve seen time and time again with these measures that infringe on our right to bear arms, they are poorly written and passed hastily, causing many undue consequences that hurt law-abiding gun owners, hunters and those who simply enjoy marksmanship activities,” Hawley said. “This bill has not yet been sent to the governor to be signed into law, which means we must make our voices heard. I urge everyone who supports youth marksmanship and the Second Amendment to call or write the governor immediately!”

            Contact Gov. Cuomo by phone: (518) 474-8390

            By mail:          The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
                                    Governor of New York State
                                    NYS State Capitol Building
                                    Albany, NY 12224

            Online at: https://www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form

April 17, 2019                                                                                                              


A Statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) following the expansion of the MERIT Scholarship to veterans who lose their lives or become disabled in the line of duty

            “Gold Star Families and disabled veterans have been neglected for far too long and today we are finally righting an injustice and fulfilling our obligation to them. We will never be able to fully repay our veterans and servicemembers for their role in protecting our nation but I am proud to have led the statewide bipartisan effort to see that the MERIT Scholarship is expanded. It is paramount to cover all of our nation’s heroes and their families under this program, and I thank Gov. Cuomo for doing the right thing.”

April 16, 2019                                                                                                              


            Following statewide and national support for his legislation that would expand MERIT scholarships to protect spouses and dependents of military members who lose their lives in the line of duty and provide them free college tuition and room and board, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is continuing his push for the legislation to become law this year and has launched a national petition to garner support.

            “Gold Star families have heard the herald of bipartisan support from state lawmakers in both parties, along with Gov. Cuomo and even President Trump, following the defeat of my bill in committee last week,” Hawley said. “I will continue leading the effort to see that our military receive the benefits they deserve as they carry the tremendous sacrifice of losing a loved one in the line of duty. I am confident we can get this legislation passed this year and hopeful that this is the beginning of an era where veterans’ issues transcend political divides and we all can play a part in honoring our brave service members and veterans.”

          To sign the petition calling for Hawley’s Gold Star families bill to become law please use the link here: http://bit.ly/HelpGoldStarFamilies       

            State Democrats defeated Hawley’s proposal (A.2991) in the Assembly’s Higher Education Committee due to the perceived cost it would impose outside of usual March budget negotiations. Assembly Democrats passed a $27 million package giving free college aid to the children of illegal immigrants in late January of this year.

April 9, 2019                                                                                                                


            New York City politicians on the Assembly’s Higher Education Committee have voted to block legislation, introduced by Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia), offering discounted college tuition, room and board for the dependents of New York military service-members who have died in the line of duty.

            The measure, supported by both Democrats and Republicans, would apply to students attending SUNY or CUNY institutions.

            “Downstate politicians have no shame in throwing tax dollars at illegal aliens for their college expenses, but when it comes to family members of our nation’s heroes they turn their backs and vote no,” Hawley said. “The priorities of the Assembly Majority become more confusing and hypocritical by the day and to turn their backs on our veterans is disgraceful.

            “It’s truly a disservice to this state and, most importantly, our brave veterans that power brokers in Albany kill truly bipartisan legislation with noble causes,” Hawley continued. “Inmates get Ipads, parolees get pardons and criminal illegals get lawyers but the Assembly Majority cries broke when it comes to our valiant veterans – mindboggling.”

April 3, 2019                                                                                                                


            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) sharply criticized Gov. Cuomo’s authorization to close three state prisons, including two within 90 days of the recently passed state budget. These closures will create a cloud of uncertainty for prison employees and threaten public safety across the state.

            “I am vehemently opposed to this radical proposal aimed not at protecting the citizens of our state but instead at subsidizing the governor’s runaway tax-and-spend policies in Albany,” Hawley said. “Perhaps the governor plans to overcrowd state prisons or pardon more inmates to decrease the load other prisons will assume as a result of these closures, but this effort is an unnecessary risk to public safety.

            “In addition, this proposal also jeopardizes the employment and safety of thousands of prison personnel, including correctional officers, who put their lives on the line every day for the communities in our state. Overcrowded prisons complicate correctional officers’ jobs and could lead to an increase in violent attacks against these public servants. I will continue my fight against prison closures and ensure the safety of our correctional officers and the public at large is our preeminent concern.”

April 1, 2019                                                                                                                


A Statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) on the 2019 Enacted State Budget

            “As usual, the state budget was passed in the middle of the night, rushed through the Legislature with little time for public input or discussion and ridden with contentious policy proposals that should be debated separate from a spending plan.

            “I am concerned that the Gov. can now close up to three state prisons within 90 days and state leaders are content with ending bail for some felonies, putting the public at risk and sending the message that those who have broken the law should be given more and more leeway.

            “While we did secure funding for key bridge repair and infrastructure projects I am concerned at the growing disparity between upstate and downstate infrastructure spending with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) consuming billions of tax dollars per year with little oversight or accountability.

            “I have been a champion of easing the burden on local governments for years and tonight our conference offered a budget amendment to fully restore Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM) funding – this was shamelessly defeated by the Assembly Majority. Gov. Cuomo has drastically changed the AIM formula, forcing counties to fend for themselves instead of offering state help to bolster local services.

            “I am pleased to see our direct-care professionals receive funding for retention and salary increases but more needs to be done to protect those who protect our most vulnerable New Yorkers. Our conference has advocated for a living wage for these dedicated men and women for years and will continue championing their cause until a true living wage is achieved.

            “As session continues I will keep banging the drum for tax relief, an end to mandated Albany spending passed down to homeowners, reforming our charitable gaming laws and fighting the pro-criminal, anti-Second Amendment policies pushed by Gov. Cuomo.”

March 29, 2019                                                                                                           



Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) [pictured center front] poses with a group of Vietnam veterans in Washington D.C. during a previous Patriot Trip.

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today recognized Vietnam Veterans Day by passing an official Assembly Resolution in Albany honoring the event. Hawley, a veteran, son of a veteran and member of the Assembly Veterans’ Affairs Committee, offered his gratitude and best wishes to New York’s veterans of the Vietnam War and urged constituents to thank a family member or friend who served in Vietnam.


Hawley poses with a veteran who served as a nurse during the Vietnam War in front of the Vietnam Nurses’ Memorial in Washington D.C.

            “Vietnam was one of the longest and most violent conflicts in American history with many brave young men, not long out of high school, answering the call of duty for their nation,” Hawley said. “The campaign to defeat communism and the forces of evil claimed countless brave souls but today is dedicated to honoring their sacrifices and thanking those still with us for their commitment to their nation and its people.”

March 28, 2019                                                                                                           


            As Assembly leadership began its yearly tradition of unveiling budget bills Tuesday with the introduction of the Debt Service Bill, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) voted against the legislation that would have perpetuated Albany’s reckless spending habits, leading to a state debt of nearly $54 billion.

            “Let’s talk about the facts, New York has $53.6 billion in debt and ranks as the second most indebted state behind only California,” Hawley said. “That’s $3,153 that every single person would be responsible for paying if and when the state comes calling. This bill calls for our budget to allocate $10.2 billion just to service our debt for one year – money that should be invested in roads, bridges, schools and tax relief efforts, not paying state creditors.

“This is the consequence of extreme tax and spend policies in Albany,” Hawley continued. “No family, business or organization across our state would ever put the kind of spending on a credit card the way that New York state does. I will continue to hold the line on responsible spending and total transparency throughout the remainder of our budget process this week. It is time that we ditch the old way of doing things in Albany, and embrace a new vision of fiscal responsibility and pro-growth policies that will allow our state to prosper for decades to come.”

March 15, 2019                                                                                                           


            As a result of Gov. Cuomo and the State Senate failing to include the New York State American Legion Boys State program in their individual budget proposals, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has taken action. Hawley, along with over 40 other lawmakers, have signed onto a letter calling for the program’s full restoration that will be sent to legislative leaders and the governor ahead of the April 1 budget deadline.

            The Boys State program melds aspiring high school seniors with American Legion counselors and active duty Marines during a week-long training seminar at SUNY Morrisville. The students engage in physical fitness, teamwork building and leadership training exercises while also learning the intricacies of state government.  

            “This is a unique program that brings together active service members, veterans and high school students eager to become future leaders and active in civic affairs,” Hawley said. “Including $150,000 in a budget that is expected to total over $175 billion is a small investment we can make to help the future leaders of New York grow and excel. Students from every region of the state attend this program and I urge the governor and legislative leaders to restore this funding and keep the Boys State program vibrant and active.” 

March 13, 2019                                                                                                           


A Statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) on the Assembly Majority’s one-house budget wish-list

            “While I do support restoring the governor’s cuts to municipalities and funding of the Extreme Winter Recovery infrastructure program, I will not stand for a $5.7 billion tax increase as was proposed by New York City politicians today.

            “There was no mention of unfunded mandate relief or breaks for small businesses, and even through all those taxes, Assembly leadership still chose to gut counseling services for veterans – an awful decision.

            “Included was also an additional tax on rental cars which disproportionately affects upstate as many in New York City use public transit to travel. 

            It’s ironic that downstate politicians want to further tax rental cars – that may be the last and final tax many families pay as they are leaving our state for the last time.”

March 6, 2019                                                                                                             



Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) [center] joins highway superintendents from across the state to rally for increased infrastructure funding

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today joined legislators, highway superintendents and members of road repair crews from across the state to call for a $150 million increase to the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS), as well as restoration of $65 million in Extreme Winter Recovery funds that Gov. Cuomo plans to axe from this year’s budget.

            “Western New York’s winters are brutal and it’s no surprise that potholes and road deterioration spread like wildfire every spring, so to cut these funds would rob us of the ability to provide safe, smooth and reliable transportation moving forward into the summer travel months,” Hawley said. “CHIPS funding hasn’t increased in many years but state leaders have no issue dumping billions more into the dysfunctional MTA and expensive downstate projects. This money is vital to upstate and we are asking for a small increase relative to the entire budget which is projected near $170 billion this year. I am hopeful state leaders heed our message today.”

February 21, 2019                                                                                                      


            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is calling for all state prisons to remain open and operating today amid a subtle announcement by the governor late Friday to close three unspecified state prisons. The plan was buried in a release of Gov. Cuomo’s 30-Day Amendments as changes to his Executive Budget proposal.

            “Closing any state prisons would have dire consequences for public safety and the brave correctional officers who work with our incarcerated population,” Hawley said. “By consolidating the prison population, we run the risk of double bunking inmates and exacerbate the high number of violent attacks against corrections officers we have seen in recent years. This is not about a declining prison population, this is about the governor scrambling to save money to cover up his $2.3 billion budget shortfall – a terrible solution for an even worse self-inflicted problem.”

February 14, 2019                                                                                                      


A statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) on the decision of Amazon to axe their HQ in New York City

            “Talk about making ‘Open for Business’ a punchline – the governor and New York City politicians have failed to close the deal with Amazon but there is hope for Mr. Bezos, Western New York is truly open for business and we would gladly accept Amazon’s Headquarters to be located at our STAMP site.

            “I have already been in contact with the Orleans County IDA and Economic Development Center in Genesee County to make this a reality and I’m confident our 57 local colleges and universities educating more than 300,000 students could easily accommodate their labor needs.”

February 4, 2019                                                                                                        


A legislative statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) on Gov. Cuomo’s projected $2.3 billion budget shortfall

            “This gigantic budget shortfall wasn’t caused by the federal government or its policies.

            “It was spurred by reckless and insistent spending on corrupt economic development programs, tax credits for rich Hollywood movie producers and a billion dollars spent on a subway with trains that still don’t run on time – all hallmarks of this governor.

            “Now the governor is grasping at straws trying desperately to find someone to blame – a practice he is well versed in. Unfortunately for him, the person to blame is looking back at him in the mirror.

            “I hope that new Tappan Zee bridge was worth it, governor. Maybe you can call the one million residents who have left the state under your leadership and convince them to come back and pay for it.”

January 29, 2019                                                                                                        


Assemblyman pens letter to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) requesting the bill come before the house for a full vote

            As a result of the high flux of controversial legislation that has passed the Assembly in recent weeks including expanding abortion, free college for illegal aliens and stricter gun control, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has written Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) requesting that his ‘Two New Yorks’ legislation be passed through committee and come to the house floor for a full vote.

            “This is an idea that has been discussed for many years, and one which is especially popular throughout upstate New York,” Hawley said. “It has become abundantly clear in recent years that the New York City voting bloc has forgotten upstate and is imposing their radical left-wing agenda on all of us, whether we like it or not. And that is deeply troubling. This bill simply gives citizens a say on the direction of their state. If downstate politicians really don’t need upstate, as many of them claim, then there’s no harm in at least asking the question if we should be divided.”


January 23, 2019                                                                                                        


Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) issues a statement on passage of the DREAM Act

            “The priorities of the far left are now on full display in Albany, and today’s theme was unabated college aid for illegal aliens.

            “We cannot possibly justify spending millions of tax dollars to line the pockets of those here illegally when the student loan debt crisis is a national epidemic, with an average debt burden of $39,400 per student.

            “We are a nation of laws, and those who follow our laws, work hard and pay taxes are the ones we should be helping with college affordability.  But state leaders, intent on quarreling with the federal government, are using our state governmental process for partisan political gain.

            “There have been numerous proposals put forth by members of the Assembly Minority Conference to expand college affordability, increase tax credits and lower student loan payments. Those are the solutions we should be considering before giving away free college to illegals.”

January 17, 2019                                                                                                        


            New York State’s minimum wage increased again this year to $11.10 per hour and Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) vocalized concern that sharp increases year-to-year are unsustainable for upstate’s struggling small businesses. Employers already face the nation’s worst tax business climate and a state regulatory code that forces more outsourcing of jobs, transition to automated labor and loss of benefits for employees.

            “Certainly we want to help the working poor and employees making minimum wage across the state but these sharp increases are like putting a band-aid on a broken leg,” Hawley said. “Misguided policies like these overlook the fact that small businesses will be forced to recoup these increasing labor costs and that could lead to massive layoffs and a cut to benefits for many employees – a regrettable consequence of the law’s intention.”

            The Assembly Minority Conference has proposed wiser economic solutions such as allowing employers to pay a training wage to new employees that is more congruent with their skill sets. Many lawmakers have also come out in support of raising the tipped wage for workers such as servers, a proposal met with animosity by the tipped workers it is meant to help.

            “The minimum wage was never meant to be a living wage and many employers are now mandated to pay higher costs for employees with less experience,” Hawley continued. “Employees like restaurant servers rely on the quality of their service and dedicated work ethic to bring home larger tips and an elimination of this would remove the incentive to provide quality service for these workers.

            “If we are to change New York’s awful business climate and stop our state’s embarrassing exodus rate it starts with tax and regulatory relief that mitigates the root cause of business struggles, not quick fixes and economic gimmicks,” Hawley concluded.       

January 15, 2019                                                                                                        


A legislative statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) on Gov. Cuomo’s 2019 State of the State and Executive Budget proposal

            “Gov. Cuomo sold out any remaining hint of pragmatic and moderate governance to the far left in order to secure his re-election. His policy wish-list makes it abundantly clear that he sides more with the radical socialist movement than middle-class New Yorkers.

            “An increase in welfare spending, exorbitant taxes and fees and no clear plan on addressing our state’s embarrassing exodus rate were all highlighted in the governor’s policy circus.

            “Despite the governor’s agenda, I will continue to beat the drum for our region and seek infrastructure investment, new charitable gaming laws, tax and regulatory relief for small businesses and an end to big government handouts to illegals and those who refuse to work.”           

January 9, 2019                                                                                                          


A legislative statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia)

            “It is an honor and privilege to be back in Albany continuing the work we have done to reform our charitable gaming laws, meet upstate’s infrastructure needs, protect our vets, fully fund the Lake Ontario flood recovery efforts and empower small businesses.

            “New York City politicians now control all three policy-making wings in Albany and I pledge to stand strong against any further tax increases, handouts to illegal aliens and big government expansion that has sent millions of our neighbors packing for greener pastures.

            “New York is at a crossroads and it’s time that upstate flex its muscle at the table. Hardworking, middle-class families deserve a voice too and I will fight to make sure we are heard loud and clear.”

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