January - April 2020

April 23, 2020                                                                                                             

HAWLEY CALLS FOR ENERGY DEVELOPMENT HEARING POSTPONEMENT DURING COVID-19 CRISIS

               Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) recently partnered with Sen. Robert G. Ortt and Sen. Michael H. Razenholfer to request a postponement of hearing dates for the development of new energy initiatives as part of the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act. The goal is to ensure that the district, which is incredibly involved in siting policy at the local level, is allowed to participate in the public forums mandated by the act.

            “This pause in daily life has not been without its struggles, and the people of Western New York have been performing admirably during this time,” Hawley said. “It’s why I want to ensure their right to assembly, especially during matters that concern them.”

April 21, 2020                                                                                                             

A REGIONAL RE-START IS THE BEST STRATEGY FOR GETTING BACK TO WORK

A Column from the Desk of Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia)

            In just a little over a month, I have seen great strides made in fighting the COVID-19 outbreak in this state and country. From volunteers giving their time and spare resources to those in need to community leaders and members rallying to support our counties, I can’t be more proud of the work that has been done and the selflessness that has been shown during this pandemic. That being said, with news of declining cases in the state of New York and the reality of our economic crisis becoming more and more prevalent, we need to start preparing for what comes next.

            As Deputy Minority Leader, and in concert with the Assembly Republican Conference, I am advocating for a regional re-opening of the state to allow our workers to get their lives back, one step at a time. The proposal I am making is that starting April 30th, the state government should begin to allow more leniency in its lockdown rules where it can be allowed, particularly in districts and counties where the number of cases is not as high. The goal is to slowly reopen society, beginning with 25 percent of employees returning to what was determined as non-essential work, and gradually increasing that number over the course of two-week periods. This strategy aims to follow social distancing guidelines and public health guidelines while at the same time getting ahead of helping people to return to work and jump-start the economy.

            Some of the initiatives I am hoping to implement to get us going again include requiring face coverings for newly reopening businesses, ensuring businesses maintain 6-foot buffer zones, prioritizing online payments over cashiers when feasible, and making hand sanitization/hand washing stations available to employees and customers. These steps are far from simple, and the key to making this work will be in the combined collaboration of local communities with each other. That being said, I believe these steps, among others, will go a long way toward helping individual districts begin to economically recover.

            I recognize that this is a very delicate time. Our leaders in state and federal governments are correct in saying that this period, on the downswing of cases counted, is where things can either go well or poorly. And while I can appreciate that caution and careful nature that larger bodies want to abide by, I also have to recognize that the need to get people back to work so they can support themselves and their families is a priority. I encourage you to read the full proposal attached, drafted by the Assembly Minority Conference, and to reach out to me with any comments or questions you may have.

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April 17, 2020                                                                                                             

HAWLEY OFFERS ‘JUMP-START NEW YORK’ INITIATIVE

               Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) recently joined the Assembly Republican Conference in developing an economic plan that will provide working New Yorkers, job creators, and small businesses with short-term economic support and long-term stability and security. With roughly 92 percent of small businesses being negatively impacted due to the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak, per the National Federation of Independent Business’ (NFIB) survey, many small businesses need help sooner rather than later

            “There is no question that the scale and severity of our current fiscal situation is dire, and business owners are feeling tremendous pressure,” Hawley said. “The fact that these small businesses and job creators are following state and federal directions should not mean that they lose their livelihoods. Like anyone living through this pandemic, these individuals deserve to know that just because business has slowed, food will still make its way to the table and support will be in their communities beyond the pandemic.”

            Some of the ideas discussed in the initiative are the re-evaluation of which businesses could operate following social distancing protocols; extending and/or waiving state regulations for an additional year; suspending fees for occupational licenses for one year following the emergency period; increasing rural internet accessibility to ensure equal access to telehealth and online learning among other things; and the implementation of all provisions of the ‘Small Business Recovery Act of 2020’ (A.10266). To read more on the “Jump-Start New York” plan, please click on the following link, where you can learn about all of the proposed plans and initiatives: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1i6VvqdYOQWREoKkEGkYISGr30Tx4xuvX/view.

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April 16, 2020                                                                                                             

HAWLEY SIGNS ON TO FARM RELIEF LETTER

               Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) recently joined the Assembly Republican Conference in signing a letter for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Speaker Carl Heastie, among other political and agricultural leaders in New York, imploring them for quick and immediate action to ensure the relief for local farms, which have been feeling the negative repercussions of the state’s response to the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

            “Farmers are one of our most important working groups, especially in a situation as dire as this one,” Hawley said. “If there’s any way to give them more support and more relief during this troubling time, we’re obligated to do so. It’s about keeping the supply chain running, keeping a small family farm’s doors open, and making sure everyone has food on the table. We can all agree we need to protect our farmers.”

            Some of the policies that the letter calls for are extending the Milk Producers Security Fund, using the federal stimulus to invest in rural broadband infrastructure, suspending highway use taxes and tolls for transporting agricultural products, provide vouchers from food banks to purchase local dairy and agricultural products, and suspending, for one year, the 60-hour overtime threshold for farm laborers. Small steps like these are designed to support these farmers in a time when they need it more than ever.

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April 6, 2020                                                                                                               

HAWLEY DISTURBED WITH EXECUTIVE ORDER TAKING VENTILATORS FROM UPSTATE NY

               Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has called out the executive order signed by Gov. Cuomo that requires the National Guard to transport extra ventilators from hospitals in upstate New York and bring them to downstate hospitals. He is also fighting against the increased transport of COVID-19-infected patients from downstate to upstate hospitals.

            “I am absolutely dumbfounded at the steps the governor has taken today to leave upstate New York as vulnerable as downstate has been during this health crisis,” Hawley said. “Not only will upstate hospitals now be left with fewer ventilators for our citizens who need them, but an increase in transport of coronavirus cases to upstate almost certainly means the virus will spread even quicker in our districts. It’s the worst possible management of this crisis I have seen thus far, and I am asking the governor to rescind his Executive Order. Upstate and Western New York lives matter.”


HAWLEY VOTES NO ON BAD BUDGET POLICY

               Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has voted against budget bills that raised  New Yorkers’ taxes for frivolous social programs that should have not been debated and voted on during the current health crisis. In addition, increased gun control restrictions, shifting of Medicaid policies that leave higher property taxes on our counties, and the banning of Styrofoam packaging all showed that the state budget was not really a budget proposal, but a policy initiative in disguise.

            “I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: trying to pass a budget at this time was the wrong approach to begin with,” Hawley said. “The Assembly should have taken steps to pass a Continuing Resolution, which would have allowed the state the ability to function until the health crisis has been dealt with. This budget gives the governor sole authority, instead of duly elected state legislators, to make changes and decisions as he sees fit as the year unfolds. The governor is now running the show, and he gets to spend taxpayer dollars however he wants to. Despite the fact that there was some good in this budget, the bad far outweighed the good. The reduction in library aid and the further damaging of small businesses during this health crisis was deplorable. And if that weren’t enough, the continued coddling of criminals through the terrible Bail Reform initiative still pesters on in our communities. The Legislature is no longer run by the men and women elected by the people, it’s run by the governor. Shameful!”

March 30, 2020                                                                                                          

2020 Legislative Survey

Many of you may have recently received my survey in your mailbox.  This survey was supposed to have been sent in early January prior to the start of our 2020 Legislative session to help me understand constituents’ views on issues.  It was held up for reasons beyond my control and was released, erroneously, as we face one of the most difficult times in our state’s & nation’s history….the Covid-19 Virus.  Please practice Social Distancing, Stay Home and wash your hands over and over and over.  We will get through this.

Take the 2020 Legislative Survey Online

March 25, 2020                                                                                                          

Friends and neighbors, these days are certainly challenging to all of us in the wake of this virus outbreak. I wanted to take a moment and share with you some resources you can use during this time to stay up-to-date with what the state and the federal governments are doing to combat the COVID-19 virus, otherwise known as coronavirus. These websites are trustworthy and reliable, and are updated at least once a day. I encourage you to take a look through all of them, and if you have any comments or questions, know that you can always reach out to me. Remember, we will get through this by working together and practicing our social distancing and washing our hands regularly. These are trying times for our families and businesses, but if we all work together, this will pass.

https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/

March 19, 2020                                                                                                          

HAWLEY VOTES YES ON SUPPORTING INDIVIDUALS IN QUARANTINE WITH CORONAVIRUS

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has supported the bipartisan bill A.10153 that will extend financial coverage to individuals under government-mandated quarantine for COVID-19, or coronavirus. The bill temporarily expands eligibility for the state’s paid family leave program to include coverage for individuals under government-mandated quarantine and unable to work.

            “I’m glad to see that a reasonable compromise could be reached in the face of this healthcare crisis,” Hawley said. “Our job as legislators is to ease the lives of the citizens we represent, and in a time when jobs are on the line, money is a concern and the future seems uncertain, this is one step toward making the survival of this crisis easier.”


HAWLEY STANDS FIRM ON BUDGET, DESPITE CORONAVIRUS

A Legislative Column from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia)

            As many of us are aware, the virus known as COVID-19, or coronavirus, has required us to make many changes in our day-to-day lives. From limiting social interactions to setting up curfews in the evenings, these changes are most definitely out of the ordinary. But, I have a feeling we will all be grateful such care is being taken to prevent the spread of the disease when we look back at this event.

            However, during this public health crisis, it is becoming clear that some attempts to push forward policy that has not been properly debated or discussed are becoming commonplace. My stance is what it has always been: the government’s role is not to avoid transparency, and I will fight to make sure New Yorkers know what their government is doing.

            We are not here to tie the bow on the governor’s bad policy in the middle of a crisis. It’s wrong and it’s dishonest. It’s disappointing to think that the governor would take advantage of the situation by trying to jam his political wish-list into what is supposed to be a policy-free budget. We need to pass a budget that responsibly keeps the state operating, one that allows the state to be financially stable, so we can return at a safer, later date to debate and determine the merits of any and all proposals that do not have a financial impact on everyday New Yorkers.

            Additionally, we need to lead by example. While I agree that state legislators should be working day and night to support New Yorkers in this time of crisis, I am equally mindful of keeping legislators as healthy as possible. We are needed in our districts now more than ever, which leads me to believe that pushing back a voting deadline for the budget is more important than ever.


HAWLEY SPONSORS INTRODUCTION OF SMALL BUSINESS EMERGENCY RECOVERY ACT OF 2020

               Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is fighting for small business relief with the “Small Business Recovery Act of 2020”, an act that aims to provide critical financial help at a time when the survival of many small businesses hangs in the balance. With small businesses making up 99% of business in New York state, and employing approximately half of the state’s workforce, the impacts of the COVID-19 virus, or coronavirus, threaten not only public health, but the entire state’s economy in the long term.

The Small Business Emergency Recovery Act of 2020 would:

  • Immediately direct the state’s settlement reserve fund of $890 million toward small businesses;
  • Create a 0% interest loan program dedicated to helping small businesses meet their payroll commitments;
  • Repurpose available tax credits to help the needs of the state’s existing small businesses;
  • Use all economic development discretionary funding for existing small businesses within New York state;
  • Move tax deadlines for remittance, business tax, and personal income tax ahead 180 days, and;
  • Suspend all regulatory fees on small businesses for 180 days.

            “Our citizens are diligently following instructions as given to them by the state government in the interest of stopping the spread of this terrible virus,” Hawley said. “I don’t think  this drastic shift in lifestyle should punish citizens and families who own small businesses and do what we as legislators have asked. It’s not only in the best interest of the economy to support these businesses, but as neighbors, it’s the right thing to do for our fellow New Yorkers.”

March 17, 2020                                                                                                          

HAWLEY TEMPORARILY CANCELS AND SUSPENDS OFFICE HOURS

Assures public that this is only a temporary change

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is suspending office hours for the duration of March 2020. This is being done to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, otherwise known as the coronavirus.

            “This change is not being taken lightly, because I always want to be sure people can reach me and talk to me,” said Hawley. “But in the interest of preventing the spread of the coronavirus further, I am hoping my friends and neighbors will understand why this change is happening.”

           Despite the change in in-person availability, staff will be working remotely, and citizens are encouraged to call or e-mail Hawley’s office if they have any comments or questions.

Call: 585-589-5780

Email: shawley@smhawley.com

 Assemblyman Steve Hawley
March Office Hours:

Monroe County:
Seymour Library
161 East Avenue, Brockport
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

 Genesee County:
Genesee Community College, Room T124
Friday, February 27, 2020
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.


HAWLEY CALLS FOR CALM IN WAKE OF CORONAVIRUS DEVELOPMENTS THROUGHOUT NEW YORK STATE

A Legislative Column from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia)

            In the wake of large-scale developments throughout the country, I want to take the time to go through the facts as we have them available to us today, and I want to reassure my friends and neighbors that we are working diligently on the situation. Our goal is to work these new facts into our daily routines and alleviate the public health crisis.

            One of the steps that the New York Legislature has taken is passed a $40 million emergency fund that can be used to increase the state’s ability to respond to COVID-19, otherwise known as the coronavirus. As the situation has continued to change and grow, and as public health officials have learned more, important steps have been taken and additional measures will come in the future as the situation continues to develop. Additionally, President Trump has declared a national state of emergency relating to the pandemic; this not only means all federal initiatives are shifting toward the better health and welfare of citizens, but also that forgiveness programs are being implemented to ensure all citizens are protected, both economically and related to their healthcare.

            We are currently in uncharted territory: international travel has been restricted, professional sports leagues have been suspended and Wall Street’s reactions all demonstrate the gravity of the situation. It can be overwhelming to see the constant news coverage paired with social media commentary, wild predictions and increased anxiety about what the future holds. While concern is a natural response, I am calling for citizens to remain calm and follow the guidelines set forth by public policy and health experts.

            As of today, there are currently 729 positive cases in New York, with 329 of the confirmed cases found in New York City, New Rochelle and Long Island. As the state government continues to assess and manage the total impacts of this disease, it is critical that we all work together to manage the issue.    

             The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a wealth of information about what the virus is, how people can protect their health and what to do if you think you may be a victim of the disease. I urge everyone to review the CDC’s recommendations and do your part to help prevent the disease from spreading further. As part of its response and to ensure residents stay informed, New York state has established the New York State Coronavirus Hotline at: 1-888-364-3065.

            Some of these ideas and recommendations might seem silly and obvious, but a healthy reminder is as important now as it has ever been. What we are learning as we study and combat this virus is that the most effective ways to beat it are the simplest. It is important that, as the situation continues to change rapidly, we keep up-to-date with accurate information, and be considerate of others.

            As of right now, it is clear that our homes are not susceptible to the coronavirus. Only two positive infections have been confirmed in Monroe County. But, as I said before, the situation is likely to change, so it is imperative that citizens practice healthy habits of washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes and limiting prolonged close contact with others. Do this, and we will push through this incident together.


HAWLEY URGES CALM & BASIC PRECAUTION DURING CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

            In light of the CoronaVirus impacting individuals in western New York, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is urging residents to remain calm but take basic precautions to avoid becoming infected or ill. To date, there have been 142 total confirmed cases of CoronaVirus in New York, with 8 people hospitalized. The highest at-risk populations are seniors, those with underlying illnesses and those with compromised immune systems.       

            “The state is taking an expedited and thorough approach to ensuring the well-being of our residents and executing the appropriate steps to stop the spread of CoronaVirus,” Hawley said. “My office has been in close contact with state leaders and the most important thing residents can do is to remain calm, practice thorough hygiene and avoid travel and contact with those thought to be infected.”

            Gov. Cuomo announced today that hand sanitizer will be provided to New Yorkers free of charge and paid sick leave will be given to individuals under quarantine. In addition, there are new guidelines for those visiting correctional facilities and for nursing homes.

            “The 18 students who have returned from Italy are asymptomatic but are being quarantined in an empty dorm at SUNY Brockport out of precaution. School officials are doing everything necessary to keep the student population safe and the Brockport community will be given additional info in the days to come,” Hawley continued. “Please remain vigilant and precautionary, and seek medical attention if you think you’ve become infected.”

NYS Price Gouging Hotline: 1-800-697-1220

NYS Department of Health Phone Number & Website: https://www.health.ny.gov/, 888-364-3065

March 6, 2020                                                                                                            

AMID CUOMO’S PROPOSED INFRASTRUCTURE CUTS, HAWLEY RALLIES WITH HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENTS FOR INCREASED ROAD, BRIDGE INVESTMENT

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Hawley stands with Western New York highway superintendents at a rally in Albany on Wednesday, March 04, 2020.

            In light of years of stagnant investment in the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) and a proposed elimination of $65 in Extreme Winter Recovery funds by Gov. Cuomo, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) rallied today in Albany with highway superintendents from around the state calling for infrastructure investment parity.

            For several years, CHIPS funding has been held stagnant at $438.1 million statewide despite billions of dollars in increases to fund the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and repair downstate bridges. This funding is used to repair and pave streets and highways. Furthermore, Gov. Cuomo has proposed cutting $65 million in Extreme Winter Recovery funds which are used by areas experiencing harsh winters to speed up recovery and repair processes.

            “Whenever the MTA cries broke Gov. Cuomo is right there willing to throw more tax dollars their way, yet upstate has to fight tooth and nail each year for a little bit extra to ensure we have safe travel,” Hawley said. “Millions of upstate residents, emergency services vehicles, farmers and manufacturers use our roads each day and their safety and quality of life matter just as much as a subway patron. We are seeking a $100 million increase to CHIPS and a restoration of the $65 million Extreme Winter Recovery fund – a small and reasonable step toward parity in a budget totaling over $175 billion. I will continue fighting to see that upstate gets it fair share this year!”

 March 2, 2020                                                                                                            

MEET ASSEMBLYMAN HAWLEY

Spectrum News - Know Your Elected Officials - Steve Hawley Interview

GENESEE SUN INTERVIEW

 February 28, 2020                                                                                                     

HAWLEY COMMEMORATES FORT DRUM DAY IN ALBANY, HONORS MILITARY

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Assemblyman Steve Hawley poses with the Senior Commander of Fort Drum, Major General Brian J. Mennes in Albany on February 26, 2020.

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) commemorated Fort Drum day in Albany on February 26 by congratulating and commending Senior Commander of the U.S. Army Fort Drum & 10th Mountain Division, Major General Brian J. Mennes.

            “Congratulations to Major General Mennes on his recent promotion to Senior Commander of Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division. He is an impressive leader and brings prestige and great honor to one of the New York’s most important military institutions,” Hawley said. “As a veteran and son of a World War Two veteran, I know the sacrifices our military members make to keep our state and nation safe and I pledge to remain a steadfast voice for them in Albany. I wish Fort Drum and all its soldiers the best of safety and success in the future.”

 February 25, 2020                                                                                                     

HAWLEY RIPS CUOMO PLAN TO TAKE LOCAL CONTROL OF ENERGY PROJECTS AWAY FROM ALL MUNICIPALITIES

A Statement by Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia)

“This is an unprecedented attack on the autonomy of our local governments. If the people who live in our towns and villages Upstate have no say when it comes to something as fundamental as land use, what rights can they reasonably expect to maintain? Of course Cuomo’s wealthy donors in the energy industry want him to be able to handpick their projects and situate them wherever is best for them. That doesn’t mean the governor should go along with it.

“I’m all for green energy projects that work for local residents, local governments and local economies. Giving the governor total, unilateral control would be a grave mistake. I’ll be fighting this misguided proposal, and I’ll be working hard to make sure it’s not included in our final budget plan,” said Hawley.


HAWLEY JOINS U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY TO HIGHLIGHT DANGERS OF ‘GREEN LIGHT LAW’

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Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) [left] listens as Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay (R,C,I,Ref-Pulaski) [at podium] speaks on the dangers of the ‘Green Light Law’

            Following a briefing in Albany by members of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) joined lawmakers from across the state at a press conference to highlight the dangers of the ‘Green Light Law,’ which went into effect on January 1, 2020. The law, which a recent Siena Poll shows is opposed by 48 percent of New York voters, allows illegal aliens to apply for a New York State driver’s license.

            Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders have expressed strong opposition to allowing Customs Border Patrol and U.S. Immigration authorities to access the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database to improve data sharing efforts. Genesee County Clerk Michael T. Cianfrini recently wrote to Gov. Cuomo requesting that an amendment be passed allowing Customs Border Patrol to gain access to the DMV database.

            “As egregious and offensive this law is to law-abiding New Yorkers, we shouldn’t be making matters worse by limiting cooperation with federal immigration authorities who use this information to keep the country safe,” Hawley said. “Cooperation and data sharing between law enforcement agencies are key to tracking down and apprehending dangerous individuals and state leaders in New York are putting us all at risk by playing these political games with Washington. I am calling on Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders to work with us to amend this dangerous law before the public’s safety is compromised any further.”

 February 24, 2020                                                                                                     

HAWLEY PENS LETTER TO ASSEMBLY SPEAKER REQUESTING INCREASED BUDGET FUNDING FOR COUNTY COOPERATIVE EXTENSION ASSOCIATIONS

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has written to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie requesting increased funding for County Cooperative Extension (CCE) Associations which haven’t seen a funding increase in over 20 years. CCEs are statewide organizations which are actively engaged in their communities in fundamental areas of agriculture and nutrition sciences as well as youth development and leadership including 4-H programming, economic development and community and environmental progress. 

            “We are requesting your support for an increase in the overall funding to the CCE system from $3.9 million to a total statewide amount of $8 million which would support all CCE county associations,” Hawley wrote in the letter.

            “With increased funding the CCE system will be better able to proactively respond to local emerging necessities in the area of food system support.  In addition, it will better leverage county funding and competing grant support for all communities. Additionally, funding will help generate research-based environmental justice projects related to urban agriculture,” Hawley continued in the letter.

            Hawley is a longtime member of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, former owner and operator of his family farm in Batavia, Hawley Farms, and is a Past President of the Genesee County Farm Bureau.

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HAWLEY CALLS FOR FULL FUNDING OF VETERANS’ COUNSELING PROGRAMS AT LOCAL AMERICAN LEGION

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Assemblyman Steve Hawley [at podium] rallies support to restore proposed cuts to veterans’ programs in this year’s budget.

            Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) joined fellow veteran Assemblyman Jake Ashby (R,C,I,Ref-Castleton) alongside their colleagues in the Assembly Minority Conference, to co-host a “Voices for Veterans” press event Wednesday at the American Legion Cottreall-Warner Post 942, where they called for the immediate restoration of Gov. Cuomo’s planned $5.68 million cut to veterans’ services.

            Gov. Cuomo’s 2020-21 Executive Budget takes aim at initiatives that range from helping soldiers manage PTSD and mental health challenges to enabling veterans to find job-training and successful careers, and improving access to VA services and quality healthcare.

Assemblyman Hawley served in the Ohio Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves and hosts an annual Patriot Trip to Washington D.C. with over 100 veterans and their family members.

            “As a veteran myself and son of a World War Two veteran, I can attest to the critical nature of these counseling programs and their necessity in protecting our nation’s heroes as they transition back to civilian life after their service,” Hawley said. “It’s a disgrace to play games with funding that is a drop in the bucket compared to our entire state budget. We are calling on Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders to restore these cuts indefinitely in the final state budget.”

 February 18, 2020                                                                                                     

HAWLEY WORKS ACROSS THE AISLE TO RESTORE VIDEO LOTTERY TERMINAL AID FOR BATAVIA, GENESEE COUNTY

            As budget negotiations in Albany intensify, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has written to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie requesting that Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) Aid be restored in this year’s Enacted Budget due April 1. The City of Batavia is slated to lose $440,789; the Town of Batavia $160,388 and Genesee County $200,392 as proposed by Gov. Cuomo in this year’s Executive Budget.

            “The impact on these municipalities, along with others, will put a devastating financial hardship on our already overtaxed New York State citizens who continue to flee to other states,” Hawley wrote in the letter.

            “Local officials and constituents in my district have reached out to me with their concerns. This proposal will have a huge impact on fire companies, police officers and other essential personnel who provide safety for our communities. On behalf of all communities in jeopardy of losing this aid, I implore you to restore this funding,” Hawley continued.  

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HAWLEY WRITES ASSEMBLY SPEAKER REQUESTING FULL FUNDING FOR LIBRARIES IN STATE BUDGET

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has penned a letter to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie requesting that Library Aid be fully funded in this year’s state budget. Gov. Cuomo plans to cut Library Aid by $5 million this year, for a total of $91.6 million according to his Executive Budget proposal. Furthermore, the governor aims to cut Library Construction Aid by $20 million back to a total of $14 million.

            “This level of state aid is inadequate for libraries within this state and there are no other educational institutions expected to function at this level of state aid. It is imperative that increases in Library Aid are made each year in proportion to the general education funding. As you know, library monies in the budget are not in line with education funding – it is separate, therefore, libraries are not recipients of those increases,” Hawley wrote in the letter.

            “There should be no barrier when it comes to providing our constituents with the essential tools necessary for their betterment.  Our constituents, who range from toddlers to the elderly, depend significantly on the services provided by our libraries.  In addition, access to resources for job training, start-up businesses, consumer health, education, financial and technology training come from our libraries,” Hawley continued in the letter.

            In previous budget negotiations, Hawley was successful in working with members across the aisle and the governor in restoring proposed cuts to Library Aid.  

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HAWLEY: ‘NYC POLITICIANS BLOCK RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT TO OBTAIN WELFARE’

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today scoffed at politicians on the Social Services Committee, many of whom are from New York City, who voted unanimously to block Hawley’s bipartisan legislation (A.2251) that would institute a 90-day residency requirement before someone is eligible for welfare benefits in New York. Republicans voted unanimously to report the bill to the floor for a full vote before the house.

            “New York’s bloated welfare system has driven our state into fiscal ruin, causing a multi-billion dollar deficit that will likely fall on the middle class. It is policies like these that perpetuate our reputation as the cradle to the grave capital of the nation, and attracts more visitors looking for a handout,” Hawley said.

            “In perilous fiscal times like these when we should be passing bills to root out fraud, waste and abuse in our social service system so that we can afford to help those who have fallen into unfortunate circumstances, instead of expanding an already wasteful system,” Hawley finished.


HAWLEY RALLIES WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT, DISTRICT ATTORNEYS TO REPEAL HARMFUL BAIL LAWS

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) stood with hundreds of law enforcement officers, district attorneys from around the state and lawmakers from the Senate and Assembly to call for a repeal of new bail laws that are causing a major statewide public safety outcry. Just this week, a Brooklyn man who was arrested and subsequently released for suspected burglary was arrested again for brutally attacking and trying to rape a subway rider in Bay Ridge.

            “Seemingly each day we have individuals who are arrested on violent crimes being released into society only to be arrested again after committing more heinous crimes, and that is appalling,” Hawley said. “We are only about six weeks into new bail laws taking effect and the consequences have been frightening to say the least. I stand with law enforcement across the state in calling for a full repeal of bail reform so we can go back to the table and ensure the public and crime victims are protected first, rather than criminals.”  

            The Assembly Minority Conference is pushing Assembly Bill 8855, which calls for a full repeal of bail reform.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMZywcHO67k&feature=youtu.be

 January 31, 2020                                                                                                     

HAWLEY URGES HOMEOWNERS TO REVIEW IMPORTANT STAR CHANGES, TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION

            With New York State making major changes to the School Tax Relief (STAR) program in recent years and Gov. Cuomo proposing even more changes in this year’s budget, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is urging homeowners to double-check that their enrollment is up to date.

            If you currently receive the Basic STAR exemption and your income is between $250,000 and $500,000, the program is changing for you. If eligible, you will now receive a check for the STAR credit instead of the reduction on your school tax bill. If you receive a letter asking you to update your STAR registration (Form RP-425-RDM), see switching to the STAR credit from the STAR exemption section on the state tax website.

            If your income is $250,000 or less and you currently receive the STAR exemption, you can choose to register for the STAR credit to receive a check instead; you may receive a greater benefit. See Switching to the STAR credit from the STAR exemption to make the switch.

            Gov. Cuomo has proposed eliminating STAR benefits for homeowners who are delinquent in paying their property taxes as part of his Executive Budget proposal. Furthermore, the governor has proposed to lower the income limit for homeowners in the Basic STAR program from $250,000 to $200,000 in order to push more individuals into the Personal Income Tax Credit Program where they would receive a paper check rather than an automatic tax deduction.

            Visit the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for information on STAR benefits.

            “Lowering property taxes is one of the great things we have accomplished in recent years but massive changes to the program are causing heartache and confusion for many homeowners across the state,” Hawley said. “The program was working, but Gov. Cuomo insists on making nonsensical changes in order to make it appear as though he is keeping the state under a 2 percent spending cap. I strongly encourage all homeowners to ensure that their STAR benefits are up to date and accurate in order to continue receiving benefits.”


HAWLEY BACKS NYSCOBA, PUBLIC SAFETY AMID PROPOSED PRISON CLOSURES

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today criticized Gov. Cuomo’s new proposal to close several more unspecified prisons as part of the 2020-21 Executive Budget. Hawley, backing concerns of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOBA), chastised the governor for continuing to erode public safety by proposing to close more prisons.

            “Whether it’s staying mum while bail-less crime laws put violent offenders back on the streets, supporting a pay raise for incarcerated felons, giving tablets to prisoners, voting rights for parolees, granting driver’s licenses to illegals or closing more prisons, this governor is on the wrong side of virtually every public safety issue imaginable and single-handily putting the public at risk,” Hawley said.

            “We are going to see more riots and more inmate attacks on corrections officers, as double bunking and overfilled prisons cause more violence. I stand firmly against these prison closures and will advocate against any more prison closures as budget talks move forward,” Hawley continued.

            The governor cited a rapid decline in the state prison population and a changing economic development strategy focused less on prisons as the driving economic factor in his proposal. Gov. Cuomo closed Livingston Correctional Facility and Lincoln Correctional Facility last year.

            “The members of NYSCOBA are some of the bravest and resilient law enforcement officers our state has, and increasing inmate populations at maximum security establishments puts them in more danger,” Hawley finished. “Our NYSCOBA officers are crucial to keeping our prisons safe and orderly but also protecting the surrounding community, and I will always stand with them against perilous and misguided proposals like these.”

 January 22, 2020                                                                                                     

HAWLEY: ‘CUOMO’S MEDICAID SPENDING WILL BANKRUPT NEW YORK’

A Statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) on Gov. Cuomo’s 2020 Executive Budget Proposal

            “The governor made a lot of promises today, specifically to increase funding across the board for every program in the state, including an out-of-control Medicaid program that is the root cause behind a $6 billion deficit. In fiscal year 2018 alone, New York spent more on Medicaid than Texas and Florida combined, despite having around half the population.

            “The national economy is booming in almost every metric, yet under one party leadership in New York, we are facing a massive shortfall. Every indication says we need to roll back reckless spending, but Gov. Cuomo continues his handouts, even blaming counties and local governments for causing the state’s woes.

            “As budget negotiations intensify, I will be working diligently to see that the governor sticks to his word of no new taxes and that his deficit does not fall on the backs of hardworking taxpayers. Whether it’s property tax relief, road and bridge repair or school funding, western New York deserves its fair share of help, and I will continue to be strong advocate on our behalf as the budget is determined over the coming months.”            

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31sUys65IrQ&feature=youtu.be


HAWLEY: ‘CUOMO RUNS OFF TO PUERTO RICO IN MIDST OF RECORD DEFICIT’

A Statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) on Gov. Cuomo’s recent trip to Puerto Rico

            “While serial felons run free endangering society under new bail laws, statewide infrastructure continues to crumble and we face one of the largest budget deficits in recent memory, Gov. Cuomo thinks it’s the right time to spend unknown amounts of taxpayer money on a trip to Puerto Rico.

            “It has become abundantly clear that the governor cares more about raising his political profile than addressing the serious issues facing New York. Feel good photo ops and trade missions are not always the mark of good leadership but rather it’s having the courage to work through issues and implement real solutions for constituents.

            “Emerging trends under one party rule show our state is growing in the wrong direction. Our debt and deficit are high, Medicaid and welfare spending continues to balloon, population continues to decrease and taxes continue to suppress and stifle two crucial groups needed to grow an economy – homeowners and small businesses.

            “We can’t deny that out of control Medicaid spending is the root cause of our state deficit. We already spend more than Florida and Texas combined with half the population and the continued expansion is clearly unsustainable. Rest assured, I will be making my voice heard loud and clear throughout this year’s budget process to see that New York’s fiscal ship is set on the right path.”

 January 14, 2020                                                                                                     

HAWLEY JOINS CRIME VICTIMS, LAW ENFORCEMENT, LAWMAKERS IN CALLING FOR END TO BAIL REFORM 

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) joined law enforcement professionals, lawmakers and family members of crime victims at a press conference today in Albany held by Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay (R,C,I,Ref-Pulaski) calling for a repeal of dangerous bail reform laws that are leading to serial criminals being released before trial.

            Joining lawmakers at the press conference today was Jennifer Payne, mother of Sarah Tombs who was shot and killed in April 2019 by her live-in boyfriend. The individual was released from custody last week under the new bail reform laws. Also in attendance at the press conference was Sheila Harris, cousin of Maria “Rosie” Osai, a 35-year-old mother of three who was struck and killed by an unlicensed, hit-and-run driver in Rockland County on Christmas Eve. The driver was immediately released without bail pursuant to the new law. 

            “Bail reform has already become a public safety epidemic with a new, dangerous criminal released back out onto the streets seemingly each day,” Hawley said. “New York City politicians who passed this law are directly responsible for tying our judges’ hands and restricting their ability to lock up career criminals with long rap sheets and that has dire consequences. I am calling on legislative leaders to join us in making much-needed changes to bail reform immediately before any more damage is done.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0HEYyNY8VU&feature=youtu.be

 January 10, 2020                                                                                                     

HAWLEY CHAMPIONS BILL TO PROTECT FARMERS AGAINST NEW LABOR LAWS

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I- Batavia) announced today that he has introduced legislation, A.8916, that would mandate including two additional members on the Farm Laborers Wage Board, increasing membership from three to five individuals. The two additional members would be the Commissioner of Agriculture & Markets and a member of the business community.

            “New York City politicians passed sweeping and overarching new farm labor regulations last year which have the potential to devastate small, family-owned farms in our state,” Hawley said. “It is imperative that the new wage board has input and influence from those who are on the frontlines of the agriculture industry instead of politically-appointed big labor bosses.

            “I proudly debated on the Assembly Floor and voted against the farm labor changes because downstate lawmakers have no business telling our producers how to operate. Agriculture is a unique industry that is thriving in many parts of our state and to pass blanket labor laws from behind a desk in Albany is grossly irresponsible and myopic. As the Past President of the Genesee County Farm Bureau and former owner of our family farm in Batavia, I will continue to advocate for our area’s farmers and see that this bill I’m introducing to expand the wage board becomes law this year.”


HAWLEY INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO NAME LOCAL HIGHWAY AFTER VIETNAM HERO

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) announced today that he has introduced legislation that designates State Route 77 between Pembroke Town Park and the intersection of Indian Falls Road in the town of Pembroke as the "Specialist Four Clarence 'C. Jay' Hall Memorial Highway."

            Specialist Four Clarence ‘C. Jay’ Hall served as a rifleman in the United States Army in Binh Duong, Vietnam. On October 7, 1969, he was on a reconnaissance patrol in an area of known enemy activity. He and his group were suddenly subjected to an intense attack from enemy forces. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Specialist Hall exposed himself to hostile fire while his comrades were able to obtain cover. During this action, he was mortally wounded. Specialist Hall earned the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with One Bronze Star, the Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge and the Silver Star, which is the nation's third highest award for valor.

            “I am honored to introduce this legislation posthumously on behalf of one of our state’s most heroic veterans who gave up his life during the Vietnam War in order to save others,” Hawley said. “It is inspiring stories like these that we must cherish and recognize so that they are not forgotten throughout history. Clarence Hall is a hero in every sense of the word and I am confident that this bill will pass this year, forever enshrining him in glory as part of State Route 77.”

            Hawley is a member of the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee and himself a veteran, serving in the Ohio Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves.

 January 8, 2020                                                                                                       

HAWLEY ISSUES STATEMENT ON START OF 2020 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

A Statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) on the start of the 2020 Legislative Session

            “I am hopeful that this year represents more of a collaborative effort between parties to address the serious issues facing New York. A looming $6 billion deficit, rising taxes and serious public safety concerns with recent criminal justice changes will be solved through compromise and common-sense reform rather than partisan crusades and political grandstanding against Washington D.C.

            “Last year was a clear indication that New York City politicians will do just about anything to advance their radical agenda no matter the grave consequences for New York’s families and those motivations are not moving our state forward.

            “Many of Gov. Cuomo’s State of the State proposals focus on political pomp and circumstance and increased spending rather than serious underlying issues like a $6 billion deficit, oppressive tax burden, embarrassing out migration, dangerous bail reform laws and struggling small businesses. We cannot continue to tax and spend our way to economic vitality.

            “Despite these challenges, my focus remains on repealing threatening ‘criminal justice reforms’, cutting taxes, protecting family farms against onerous new labor regulations and preventing the implementation of more pro-illegal and pro-criminal policies as we witnessed last year. As always, I will continue to reach across the aisle and work with members of any party to make real progress toward a brighter and more prosperous New York.”


A STATEMENT FROM ASSEMBLYMAN STEVE HAWLEY (R,C,I-Batavia) 

            “After discussions with family, friends and colleagues, I have decided not to explore a potential run to become the next Assembly Minority Leader. I sincerely appreciate all of the support and consideration I've received over the last few days.  

            “For our conference and constituents, it is important that Assembly Republicans begin the new year and new legislative session as a unified force. Even in the midst of change, our resolve and commitment must remain strong as we develop solutions for our constituents and fight back a liberal agenda that threatens our great state. 

            “I proudly support my friend Assemblyman Will Barclay as our next Assembly Minority Leader, and I look forward to working alongside him as we move New York State in the right direction.” 


HAWLEY NAMED TO FARM BUREAU ‘CIRCLE OF FRIENDS’

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I- Batavia) announced today that he has once again been named to the Farm Bureau ‘Circle of Friends’ for his legislative support of agricultural and farming initiatives in 2019.

            “I am honored to once again be named to the Circle of Friends and I thank the Farm Bureau for the great relationship and dialogue we have exercised over the years to do what’s best for our area’s producers,” Hawley said.

            Hawley is the former owner and operator of Hawley Farms in Batavia, a longtime member of the Assembly Agriculture Committee and a leading opponent of the Farm Labor Bill, which allows unionization, mandatory time off and other labor restrictions for farm workers.

             “The new farm labor regulations, which took effect yesterday, are an absolute deathblow to family farms across our state. By choking our farmer’s labor supply and mandating drastic wage increases, we are threatening our farms’ livelihood and their ability to operate and succeed when they need laborers the most. I was proud to stand with farmers across the state in debating and voting against this bill when it came to the Assembly floor. New York City politicians who have probably never set foot on a farm should never be allowed to dictate how we operate.”

 

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published this page in News 2020-10-14 13:31:43 -0400
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