January - April 2021

April 20, 2021                                                                                                          

HAWLEY SLAMS ASSEMBLY MAJORITY FOLLOWING REJECTION OF BILL EXEMPTING ELDERLY VETS FROM STATE INCOME TAXES

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is railing against the Assembly Majority after they tabled a bill he sponsored during a Ways and Means Committee meeting that would have exempted veterans over the age of 85 from paying state income taxes (A.5033). Notably, this bill was rejected even after the Majority passed a budget that gives over $2 billion in assistance to illegal immigrants in the form of direct payments. The cost to the state in lost revenue from excluding veterans over 85 years old from state income taxes is estimated to be about $6 million, just over one fourth of one percent (.0000283) of the state’s record high $212 billion budget. 

 

“The decision by the Majority to refuse to take this small step to show appreciation for our most elderly veterans even after giving billions to people who broke the law to come to this country is shameful, and representative of our state’s misguided priorities as a whole,” said Hawley. “We are failing those who have risked their lives for our freedoms, and helping those who have disrespected our nation’s rule of law. It seems, year after year, the Majority places the well-being of lawbreakers above that of working people, and apparently even our veterans, even when they need our help more than ever during these unprecedented times.” 


HAWLEY JOINS SEN. RATH, LEGISLATOR GARY MAHA, GENESEE VETERANS SERVICES DIRECTOR BILL JOYCE, AND WNY HEROES IN ANNOUNCING DWYER PROGRAM FUNDING

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(Left to Right): President and Program Director respectively of WNY Heroes Chris Kreiger and Lynn Magistrale, Legislator Gary Maha, Assemblyman Steve Hawley, Genesee Veterans Services Director Bill Joyce and Sen. Ed Rath



Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) was joined today at the Genesee County Veterans Service Agency by Senator Ed Rath (R,C,I-Amherst), Genesee County Legislator Gary Maha, Genesee County Veterans Services Director Bill Joyce and Chris Kreiger and Lynn Magistrale of WNY Heroes, the organization that operates the Dwyer program in Genesee County, to discuss funding of the Joseph P. Dwyer Veteran Peer Support Program and the impact the program has on local veterans. 


The final enacted budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year included $4,505,000 for the Dwyer Program across New York State, with $185,000 allocated for Niagara County, $185,000 for Monroe County, and $185,000 for Orleans, Genesee, and Wyoming Counties. This funding was secured even as Governor Cuomo proposed eliminating it entirely in his executive budget proposal.


“As a member of the Assembly Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and being a veteran myself, I am proud to have secured this funding for our service members after yet another attempt by the governor to eliminate it from our state budget,” said Hawley. “This funding saves lives, and operating programs such as the Dwyer program is the least we can do for those that risk their lives to defend our liberties.”


"I was pleased that the Dwyer Program funding was included in the final 2021-22 budget,” said Senator Rath. “The services that the Dwyer Program provides to our veteran community are critical. The State has continuously tried to cut or delay this funding, so I am happy that it was included in full."


“We are honored to take care of veterans and assist their families,” said Chris Kreiger, President of WNY Heroes and Iraq War veteran. “Our programs are about providing a hand up, not a hand out. It takes more strength to ask for help and even more strength to accept it. Here at WNYHeroes, we are no different than you, the veteran. We don’t dress in fancy clothing, we don’t drive fancy cars, we simply just want nothing more than to provide support while sustaining your dignity at the same time.”


HAWLEY JOINS ASSEMBLY REPUBLICANS IN CALLING ON SPEAKER HEASTIE, COMMITTEE CHAIRS TO PROVIDE JUSTIFICATION FOR RESTAURANT CURFEW

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) joined his Assembly Republican colleagues in calling on Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and associated committee leaders to provide them with copies of the required notices and justifications from the governor’s office regarding a modification to an executive order that mandates a 12 a.m. curfew on bars and restaurants, and why the curfew was simply pushed back an hour from 11 p.m. to 12 a.m. instead of being done away with entirely. Pursuant to Chapter 71 of the laws of 2021, the governor is now required to inform legislative leaders and relevant committee chairs of any extension, modification or alteration to existing executive orders related to the pandemic.

 

Hawley has been critical of this curfew for months, especially as similar restrictions were lifted on casinos, theaters and gyms. The curfew has been in effect in some form since mid-November of last year and has placed great strain on family-owned businesses and small restaurants, forcing many of them to close on a temporary or permanent basis.

 

“Every day we wait to do away with this senseless curfew, the more real the fear of closure for restaurant owners becomes,” said Hawley. “It is ridiculous to think casinos can stay open all night while restaurants are forced to close, and I hope our legislative colleagues in the Majority will join us in standing with restaurant owners against this nonsensical and burdensome curfew. Many of the restaurants threatened by this mandate have been built and operated by several generations of family members and for us to let this mandate drive them out of business would be nothing short of tragic. COVID-19 doesn’t suddenly grow more aggressive after midnight, and it certainly isn’t more infectious in restaurants than it is in theaters and casinos.”

April 9, 2021                                                                                                            

ON THE BUDGET: RECORD SPENDING, POORLY SPENT

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

 

As families throughout the state have tightened their budgets throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to prepare for an uncertain future, the Majority has decided now is the time to become more cavalier than ever in their spending. Worse yet, by increasing spending to historic levels, we may have less than ever to show for all of that spending in this incredible time of need for so many small businesses throughout New York. 

 

“In this second-largest budget in our nation that spends more than those of the large and populous states of Texas and Florida combined, and almost as large as California’s proposed executive budget for this year, a state with about twice as many people as ours, we will give $2.1 billion to illegal immigrants in stimulus and unemployment payments while only giving small businesses about $1 billion in assistance. These small businesses employ our neighbors, pay taxes that fund our municipal governments and emergency services and make our communities the unique places we know and love. The loss of these businesses would devastate the communities that rely on them and our state as a whole, and it should not be controversial to want to support businesses that families have worked to build for generations rather than people who disrespect our laws in order to enter our country.

 

“As unwise as this spending is, it’s also unsustainable in a very dangerous way. The Majority is treating the hefty federal stimulus we received this year like an incredibly-irresponsible person would treat lottery winnings, spending it all rapidly to start living a lifestyle we won’t be able to sustain that will be financially ruinous for our state in the future. The money we’re spending now won’t be there this year, but it’s unlikely the people and agencies across the state it supports will plan for that. Instead, we will be forced in the future between painful tax increases or spending cuts, which will come with very real consequences for our economy and our communities. 

 

“Those in the Majority would do well to look at how their constituents have ‘lived within their means’ in the last year as we pass this budget that’s 20% larger than last year’s. If New Yorkers managed their finances like their government did we would be in a very bad place, and I only hope the consequences of this budget do not bring about suffering in communities that have worked to be responsible with their resources.”     


        

HAWLEY STANDS IN OPPOSITION TO BUDGET THAT WILL RAISE TAXES, PUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS BEFORE SMALL BUSINESSES

The budget the Majority is set to pass this year will increase our state’s spending by about 20% over last year’s budget, and it makes me think, has the average New York family increased their spending by that much over the last year? The answer is of course not, while New York families have pared back their spending and lived within their means, our state is poised to increase both spending and taxes in a way that will prove unsustainable, all while giving twice to illegal immigrants what it will distribute to small businesses as aid. I am nearly certain that by this time next year the Majority will be talking about the need to further increase our taxes to pay for the increased spending people will come to rely on, which is why I will be voting against this irresponsible budget.”      

April 6, 2021                                                                                                            

HAWLEY SLAMS PROPOSALS TO ESTABLISH “EXCLUDED WORKERS FUND” TO PROVIDE BILLIONS IN AID TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is vocalizing his opposition to the proposed establishment of an “excluded workers fund” in this year’s state budget, which advocates hope will provide over $2.1 billion in new state funding to provide aid to illegal immigrants. The fund would allocate $2.1 billion in new spending to provide unemployment benefits, including benefits similar to Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), for workers federally ineligible to receive traditional unemployment insurance benefits: illegal immigrants and convicted felons. 

 

Non-citizens and other cash-economy workers would be the primary beneficiaries of such funds, as they are ineligible to receive unemployment benefits under current federal Department of Labor regulations. Some beneficiaries would be eligible for payments of up to $27,000 under current Assembly Majority proposals.

 

“In this unprecedented time of need, as thousands of families struggle to keep the lights on and put food on their tables, we shouldn’t be spending billions to help people who should not be here in the first place,” said Hawley. “Rewarding those who ignore our laws will only further erode the rule of law in our state. In doing so, we would disrespect all who come to our nation legally, as well as those who otherwise live here lawfully but are still struggling to make ends meet.”   


  

HAWLEY DISAPPOINTED AS RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA BILL BECOMES LAW

 

“What passed in the Assembly today has no basis in justice or science, and I fear that the revenue this bill projects our legal marijuana program will bring in has blinded them to the real costs of this legislation. What we know is that in other states, driver impairment rates have risen nearly universally, and these factors have caused states like Colorado to pay about four dollars in damages for every dollar earned in revenue. The passage of this legislation will come with real consequences that we will be left to pay for in the years to come, both financially and in terms of human health and human lives. I feel this will be a decision we look back on, wishing we had given it more thought.”  


  

HAWLEY AND ASSEMBLY REPUBLICANS CALL ON GOV. CUOMO TO RELEASE $1.3 BILLION IN FEDERAL CARES ACT HOUSING FUNDING

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) joined other members of the Assembly and Senate Minority Conferences on Wednesday in calling on Gov. Cuomo to release $1.3 billion in CARES Act housing assistance funding to aid tenants and landlords. If the money were to go unused by the end of September, it is possible the federal government could take the funds back, leaving tenants and landlords without much-needed assistance. Tenants have struggled to pay rent due to the pandemic, causing many small landlords to face difficulty in paying their mortgages.      

 

“People need this money now more than ever, and to leave it sitting around during this time of great need is unconscionable,” said Hawley. “Helping everyday New Yorkers should be our number one priority during these times, and for most people their priority number one is keeping a roof over their heads. This money will go a long way toward keeping people’s rents and mortgages paid, and I see no reason we should wait any longer in getting it to those who need it most.”        

MARCH 26, 2021                                                                                                            

HAWLEY RENEWS CALL FOR IMPEACHMENT FOLLOWING REPORT GOV. RESERVED STATE COVID TESTS FOR FAMILY AND ALLIES

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is renewing his call for the governor’s impeachment following a bombshell report that the governor secured state-administered COVID tests for himself, members of his family and those with close political and personal ties to him during a period in the pandemic in which government labs only had the capacity to process several hundred tests each day. State police resources were also reportedly used to transport these tests to state labs for faster processing.

“It has become abundantly clear the governor is willing to take actions that benefit himself and those close to him at the public’s expense,” said Hawley. “Somebody with such misguided convictions has no place continuing as our governor, and we need to move forward with impeachment proceedings as quickly as possible. Of course he could still do the right thing and resign.”   

MARCH 25, 2021                                                                                                            

COVID-19 Update

The Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments have two Pfizer vaccination clinics with appointments available for Genesee and Orleans County residents.

Whichever COVID-19 vaccine is available is the right vaccine to get now!  All approved vaccines are effective and saves lives.  We encourage anyone that is currently eligible to register for an upcoming clinic.

Vaccine is now available for people age 50 and older along with the existing priority groups (http://bit.ly/NYSPriorityGroups).  Pfizer is a 2-series dose series, 21 days apart (3 weeks), and is recommended for people aged 16 and older.

It is important to note that you must be able to return for the second dose 21 days after the first dose at the location you received your initial vaccination.  You will be making that appointment after you are vaccinated.  If you cannot make that date, please do not make an appointment for a 2-dose series until you can make both appointments. 

Visit the vaccination web page at:  https://bit.ly/GOHealthVaccine

Direct links to the 1st dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination clinics are:

Genesee clinic at GCC Batavia:  https://bit.ly/GCCPfizer

Orleans clinic at Ridgeway Fire Hall, Medina:  http://bit.ly/OrleansPfizer

 

Orleans Community Health – Medina Memorial Hospital also has 3 clinics planned at 200 Ohio St, Medina:

If you are interested in making an appointment to get your COVID-19 vaccination, now is the time to do it locally! 


HAWLEY JOINS ASSEMBLY AND SENATE REPUBLICANS IN CALLING FOR END TO 11 P.M. BARS AND RESTAURANTS CURFEW


“The curfew in place for our bars and restaurants has no base in science and has been extremely harmful to small businesses throughout the state,” said Hawley. “To allow people to remain in casinos after 11 p.m. but not restaurants is ridiculous. Rather than saving lives, this mandate is killing jobs and making it much harder for small business owners throughout the state to get back on their feet after a brutal year of shutdowns and having to operate in compliance with egregious and burdensome restrictions such as this.”

MARCH 15, 2021                                                                                                            

Agriculture Literacy Week 2021

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLYiqWc-ltE&ab_channel=CornellCooperativeExtensionofGeneseeCounty

MARCH 10, 2021                                                                                                            

HAWLEY SEEKS TO RAISE AWARENESS OF NEW BOATING SAFETY CERTIFICATE REQUIREMENT FOR ALL MOTORBOAT OPERATORS

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is reminding constituents that due to a new boating law passed last year, all motorboat operators, regardless of age, must have a boating safety certificate by 2025 in order to operate motorized watercrafts, including personal watercraft such as jet-skis.

 

Under the new law, all motorboat operators:

 

  • Born on or after Jan. 1, 1993 needed a boating safety certificate beginning in 2020.

  • Born on or after Jan. 1, 1988 will need a boating safety certificate beginning in 2022.

  • Born on or after Jan. 1, 1983 will need a boating safety certificate beginning in 2023.

  • Born on or after Jan. 1, 1978 will need a boating safety certificate beginning in 2024.

  • All motorboat operators regardless of age will need a boating safety certificate beginning in 2025.

 

Information on taking the boating safety course in-person or online can be found at https://parks.ny.gov/recreation/boating/.

 

“I encourage anyone who has even a mild interest in boating to take the state boating safety course, because it’s never been easier to get your certificate,” said Hawley. “Whether taking the course in-person or online, it’s a great way to spend an afternoon and ensure everyone stays safe in New York waters.”        

MARCH 8, 2021                                                                                                              

 

HAWLEY AND ASSEMBLY MINORITY ANNOUNCE INTENT TO INTRODUCE IMPEACHMENT RESOLUTION AGAINST GOV.

 

“After ignoring the calls my colleagues and I have been making for him to resign, today we had no choice but to set into motion the introduction of an impeachment resolution against the governor. Our state is facing dire economic, public health and fiscal challenges that demand our full attention as a Legislature. The last thing we need is a prolonged political battle over removing the governor when everyday New Yorkers need our help more than ever, so I am hopeful we can move through this impeachment process quickly to get back to the people’s work.”

MARCH 5, 2021                                                                                                              

Read Across America

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5QJvOrxoTc


HAWLEY CALLS ON COMMISSIONER ZUCKER TO IMPLEMENT ‘3-FOOT RULE’ TO ALLOW STUDENTS TO RETURN TO CLASSROOMS FULL TIME

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) wrote a letter Thursday to state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker requesting that he and the Cuomo administration consider changing health guidelines to allow a 3-foot distance between students, as opposed to the current 6-foot standard. This would allow students to return to classrooms full-time and end remote learning. The American Academy of Pediatrics has acknowledged that many nations have been able to re-open schools with a 3-foot standard in place, without increasing the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

 

Hawley believes that remote learning is in many ways harmful to the development of young students, as they are deprived of the opportunity to socialize with their peers and develop critical social skills. Hawley also raises the point that for many students, home is not an environment conducive to learning, and many students who face adverse circumstances at home rely on school as a place they know they can be kept safe and fed a nutritious meal.

 

“The safety of our children will always be our foremost priority, but it has become clear that remote learning is taking a toll on their development in a very concerning way,” said Hawley. “We have evidence to show that the 3-foot standard can be implemented safely, and should work quickly to get our kids back in schools full-time to minimize the negative consequences remote learning will have on our children and help them become the best young citizens they can be.”

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MARCH 3, 2021                                                                                                              

 

STATE APPROVES CREATION OF REGIONAL MASS VACCINATION CLINIC AT GENESEE COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Clinic is targeted to Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County residents

BATAVIA, NY – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Department of Health have agreed to host a temporary regional mass vaccination clinic at Genesee Community College (GCC) main campus center (1 College Rd, Batavia) to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to rural counties.

The announcement comes after the legislative leaders and public health directors of Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties sent a letter last week to the Governor urgently requesting the designation of such a clinic to serve rural populations in the region. 

“We are pleased to see this allocation for the Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County area,” stated Lynne Johnson, Chairperson of the Orleans County Legislature.  “Our three counties have been underserved throughout this pandemic, especially with the lower vaccine allocations which in turn produces lower vaccination rates.”

This state-run clinic, expecting to vaccinate 3,500, is targeted to Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County residents who are in the state eligible groupings.  The state has confirmed, as of 03/02/21, the vaccine will be the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) one dose vaccine.  The clinic is located at the GCC Athletic Center where signs will guide those with appointments to the entrance.  The clinic will be held starting:

  • Friday, March 5th from 12:00 noon – 4:00 p.m.,
  • Saturday and Sunday (March 6th and 7th) from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Monday and Tuesday (March 8th and 9th) from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Appointments must be made via the New York State ‘Am-I-Eligible’ webpage https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/ or by calling the New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-697-4829 only. 

“We are pleased to be a part of this mass vaccination clinic,” stated Rebecca Ryan, Chairwoman of the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors.  “This will help put a dent in our priority groups.”

“To say this COVID vaccination site is necessary is an understatement, as I speak with constituents daily who are told they have to travel hours in some cases just to get their vaccine,” said New York State Assemblyman Steve Hawley. “I am hopeful we will see progress made toward opening this site for the convenience of all who wish to receive the vaccination in the Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County communities.  We need to do all we can to stop the spread of COVID-19 throughout New York State.”

"I am very happy that GCC will be serving as a vaccination site for Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties. In the joint legislative health hearing this past Thursday, I specifically requested Commissioner Zucker establish a vaccination site at GCC,” said New York State Senator Edward Rath.  “I am pleased that this all is happening very quickly, and we can work to get residents in our rural counties vaccinated. Thank you to our local leaders for their leadership on the issue."

“We hope this is just the beginning of our region getting an equitable share of the vaccine,” stated Rochelle Stein, Chairperson of the Genesee County Legislature.  “In order to continue to provide vaccine to those in rural counties, we encourage the state to continue to provide these limited mass vaccination clinics to assist our counties and get the vaccine in the arms of our residents who choose to get it.”


HAWLEY DISAPPOINTED IN CANCELLATION OF LEGISLATIVE SESSION FOLLOWING SECOND SEXUAL HARASSMENT ALLEGATION TOWARD GOV.

 

Today’s cancellation of session is extremely disappointing, especially as we are now grappling  with multiple crises in our government. We are facing a pandemic, a debt crisis, budget negotiations, and also need to address the accusations made against the governor by two of his former aides, not to forget about his cover-up of deaths that took place in our nursing homes. The people need us more than ever, and I am saddened, though not surprised, that the Majority has decided to take a day off today and cover for the governor as he faces investigations by the Attorney General and Department of Justice, rather than address our state’s critical needs.”


HAWLEY CALLS FOR GOVERNOR’S RESIGNATION IN WEEKEND INTERVIEWS

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) over the weekend spoke with WHAM 13 Rochester and Rochester TV 8 to discuss recent allegations made against the governor by two of his former aides who state he had sexually harassed them in private. Speaking with these media outlets, Hawley called on the governor to resign immediately in the aftermath of both these sexual harassment allegations and also following reports that his administration actively covered up the amount of fatalities in New York nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

           In the interviews, Hawley emphasized that amid an ongoing pandemic, budget negotiation process, a federal investigation into his cover-up of nursing home fatality data, and now an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, New Yorkers need a governor that can fully devote their time and focus on addressing the needs of everyday New Yorkers in what are unprecedented and challenging times. 

 

“It needs to happen yesterday,” said Assemblyman Hawley in an interview with WHAM 13. “Any time there’s an allegation, it needs to be taken seriously, and we need to move forward with that.”

 

“[Cuomo] owes it to the people of the state of New York— his constituents, my constituents,” said Hawley, as he spoke with News 8 Rochester. “We have an awful lot going on in the state, in this nation. And the appropriate thing for him to do at this point is resign.”


HAWLEY ANNOUNCES $290M INVESTMENT BY PLUG POWER FOR HYDROGEN FUEL FACILITY IN GENESEE COUNTY



Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today announced leading alternative energy provider Plug Power’s investment of $290 million to construct a state-of-the-art hydrogen fuel production facility and electric substation in the Western New York Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) in the town of Alabama in Genesee County. 

 

Plug Power has committed to creating 68 jobs at the new production facility which will pay an average salary of $70,000 with benefits, and construction is expected to begin this Summer. Plug Power’s agreement to build its new hydrogen fuel production facility in New York is the result of a comprehensive state and local incentive package from the New York Power Authority, Empire State Development and Genesee County.

 

“After working for months with local and state officials on this project, I am proud to announce that shovels will hit dirt at the Science, Technology, and Advanced Manufacturing Park this summer to construct the Northeast’s first hydrogen fuel production facility, and create almost 70 jobs in the process,” said Hawley. “This facility will use state-of-the-art techniques to create clean energy that will be used throughout the country, and I am hopeful it is the first of more job-creating projects to come for the STAMP site.”


HAWLEY ANNOUNCES COMPLETION OF ERIE CANAL BRIDGE REHABILITATION PROJECT IN ORLEANS COUNTY 

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is announcing today the completion of a $10.7 million Erie Canal Bridge Rehabilitation Project in Orleans County, in which seven 100-year-old truss bridges were repaired to enhance safety and ease of travel. The project will allow the safe passage of trucks, farm equipment and commercial and emergency vehicles to pass safely due to the replacement of the steel flooring on the bridges, which raises their legal weight limit.

 

“I want to thank everybody in the community and at the Department of Transportation who had a part in planning and executing these rehabilitation projects over these last two years,” said Hawley. “These improvements will allow farmers, small businesses, families and emergency services to have improved access to places they need to go throughout the county, and I am certain the work done on these bridges will help save lives and make Orleans County a better place to live and work for everyone.”

 

February 12, 2021                                                                                                      

 

HAWLEY SPEAKS ON BOMBSHELL POST REPORT THAT GOV. CUOMO’S TOP AIDE ADMITTED TO COVERING UP NURSING HOME DEATHS

 

“It is hard to find the words to express my frustration with the details of this report. I am incredibly saddened by how families who have already lost their loved ones have been disrespected by this administration after already going through the painful process of grief. We now know for certain that the governor put his reputation before the lives of over 15,000 nursing home residents, and we must keep all options on the table to hold him accountable, along with everyone else responsible for this tragedy and the ensuing cover-up. At this point, any excuses made to not rescind the governor’s emergency powers and immediately investigate this matter as thoroughly and independently as possible are entirely disingenuous, and we must now all put politics aside to do what’s right for the thousands of families who had their loved ones taken from them.”


HAWLEY DELIVERS “VALENTINES FOR VETS” MADE BY JACKSON PRIMARY SCHOOL FIRST GRADERS TO BATAVIA VETERANS’ HOME

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Hawley drops off valentines at the New York State Veterans’ Home in Batavia on Feb. 11, 2021



Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) visited the New York State Veterans’ Home in Batavia to drop-off valentines that were made by first-grade students from Jackson Primary School as part of the Assemblyman’s “Valentines for Vets” program. A veteran himself, and a member of the Assembly Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Hawley remained outside of the facility as he left the valentines due to COVID-19 restrictions.


“In what has been a challenging and isolating year for us all, it was my pleasure to facilitate the delivery of these valentines to let our veterans know how much their service is appreciated by the young people of our community,” said Hawley. “The messages written by the children for our veterans were heartwarming and an encouraging sign for our future, and I am proud of these young patriots for what they’ve done to show our veterans how much their service means to them.”


HAWLEY JOINS ASSEMBLY MINORITY MEMBERS IN LETTER CALLING ON ASSEMBLY OVERSIGHT, HEALTH, AND AGING COMMITTEE MEMBERS TO SIGN PETITION TO COMPEL COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH TO TESTIFY

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) joined his colleagues in the Assembly Minority in a press conference calling on members of the Assembly Oversight, Health and Aging committees to sign a petition that would trigger the delivery of a subpoena to New York State Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard A. Zucker to testify and provide all data on nursing home deaths occurring during the pandemic., The subpoena would also request all communications from the Department of Health (DOH) and other parties that led to the decision to develop, implement and override its March 25 directive, and allow Zucker to provide answers as to why this information was kept from the Legislature and public for such a long period of time.

 

According to Section 62-A of Legislative Law, if a majority of members on a given committee sign a petition, they then have the authority to issue a subpoena for the individual in question to appear before the committee to answer questions. Hawley has sought for months to hold legislative hearings in which Dr. Howard Zucker would be compelled to answer questions regarding the thousands of deaths in New York nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic and about the attempts that followed to cover up the severity of the tragedy.

 

“Given the sheer tragedy of this situation, I am hopeful my colleagues in the Majority on this committee will do what’s right as human beings and compel Commissioner Zucker to provide the answers grieving families have waited far too long for,” said Hawley. “If our governor’s own attorney general was able to put aside their partisanship for the sake of truth and justice, I can only hope those in the Majority on these committees will also put their humanity before their politics.”

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February 8, 2021                                                                                                      

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HAWLEY RECEIVES “FRIEND IN GOVERNMENT” AWARD FROM NEW YORK BEEF PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION

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Assemblyman Hawley receives his award from the New York Beef Producers Association on February 5, 2021

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has been awarded the New York Beef Producers Association 2020 Friend in Government award, which he received during their annual meeting held virtually on Zoom. Hawley has been supportive of New York agriculture as a lawmaker and as a citizen for decades, as he is a 42 year member of the New York State Farm Bureau, has served as President of the Genesee County Farm Bureau and has been a member of the New York State Assembly Committee on Agriculture for 15 years. The award is given to legislators who have been notably vocal advocates for those in the industry of beef production, and Assemblyman Hawley is one of only two legislators to receive this award this year.

 

“As a former farmer myself, it has been my honor to stand up as a voice for everybody who works in agriculture in our state, including beef producers,” said Hawley. “I look forward to continuing to champion the causes of our farmers, and even as we face a challenging year ahead I look forward to working with producers to make the best of it and assure their voices are heard in our Legislature.”


A TIME FOR HONESTY

A Legislative Column by Assemblyman Steve Hawley

 

Taking ownership of our decisions is something that we’re taught the importance of from a young age, such as when our schoolteachers told us the story of George Washington and his famous cherry tree. While that tale was just an American folk story, it taught us all that our greatest leaders are honest and take responsibility for their actions, just as we all should as citizens. That message is more relevant than ever following our governor’s inability to take responsibility for the deaths of thousands of New Yorkers in our nursing homes. 

 

The unfathomable loss of life that took place this year is the greatest tragedy I’ve witnessed in my time as a legislator in Albany. As lawmakers and as human beings, we should all feel angry about the cover up that they tried to hide from us. In recent months, we’ve heard lots in the media about unity and coming together to do what’s right. While in this moment, we have been provided the opportunity to stand together against something we should all be able to recognize as wrong. 

 

The issue at hand is nothing nuanced or technical. The simple fact of the matter is that thousands of people died because of decisions our governor made, and we have been presented with a choice. Lawmakers can choose to seek justice and stand with the people or defend his wrongdoings and stand for his political interests. We need hearings to hold those responsible for this tragedy accountable, and despite the hesitance of some in the Majority to do so, we need to disempower the governor to prevent him making further bad decisions that could bring our state even more pain.

 

With our governor clearly unwilling to own up to his own mistakes, we in the Legislature need to take back our role in government to protect our most vulnerable. We all need to recognize that this tragedy was caused by the deliberate and unwise actions of our governor, and that it would be negligent of us to let him retain the emergency powers he used to hurt so many people. All eyes are on us to see if we can do the right thing, and I assure you that the countless people in this state who had the ones they loved taken from them will not soon forget who had the conviction to stand up for the people, versus those who cared more about political gamesmanship and their own well-being. 

 

In a time when people trust their government less than ever to do what’s right, let’s come together for once to address something we can all agree is reprehensible— the intentional coverup of thousands of preventable deaths.

February 4, 2021                                                                                                      

HAWLEY CONTINUES PUSH FOR HEARINGS, END TO GOV. CUOMO’S EMERGENCY POWERS FOLLOWING PRESS CONFERENCE ON NURSING HOME AG REPORT

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is reiterating his demands for legislative hearings into the Cuomo administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in nursing homes following a press conference held by legislative colleagues today regarding a bombshell report from the Attorney General’s Office that revealed the department was undercounting COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50 percent. Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay (R,C,I-Pulaski), Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt (R-Tonawanda), “Fox and Friends” co-host Janice Dean and a Capital Region family who lost their loved one to COVID-19 in a nursing home last April were all in attendance.

 

Additionally, Hawley is demanding a termination of the governor’s emergency powers, and also requesting that his colleagues in the Majority compel administration officials to attend legislative hearings on the matter by issuing subpoenas against them.

 

“I am hopeful that seeing the real pain the governor’s wrongdoings brought to an everyday family will be an eye-opener for my colleagues in the Majority and compel them to take getting to the bottom of this matter seriously,” said Hawley. “It has become too obvious to ignore that efforts were made to actively hide the severity of this tragedy, and I am hopeful this week’s shocking developments will spur those in the Majority to do what’s right for those who lost their loved ones.”


 

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JANUARY 28, 2021                                                                                                       

HAWLEY DEMANDS LEGISLATIVE HEARING INTO HEALTH DEPARTMENT FOLLOWING AG REPORT ON NURSING HOME COVID DEATHS

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is demanding a legislative hearing regarding the handling of the pandemic within New York state’s nursing homes by the Department of Health, as well as the revocation of the Governor’s emergency powers, following a report from the state Attorney General’s Office that the department underreported nursing home deaths related to COVID-19 by as much as 50 percent. The report also revealed that residents and staff were not provided with sufficient amounts of PPE and COVID-19 tests, and that many nursing homes were not complying with an executive order requiring communication with family members of residents.

 

“What was revealed in today’s report from the Attorney General is nothing short of tragic, and, at this point, I consider it a moral obligation to hold hearings into this matter so we can get to the bottom of what caused this unfathomable tragedy,” said Hawley. “I am shocked we are only learning today of the magnitude of this unthinkable loss of life, and I am resolved to restoring proper and constitutional government in our state to ensure the Legislature has the oversight capability to assure this never happens again.”


HAWLEY AND MINORITY ASSEMBLY COLLEAGUES DEMAND LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA BE KEPT OUT OF BUDGET PROCESS

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) and his colleagues in the Assembly Minority have written a letter to Gov. Cuomo, Speaker of the Assembly Carl Heastie and New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins demanding they do not use the budget process to legalize marijuana. Hawley believes substantial matters of public policy such as the legalization of marijuana should not be advanced through the budgetary process and should instead be debated and discussed as any other legislation would be. 

 

“This policy matter is deserving of meaningful scrutiny and debate, something we haven't seen much of since the Governor was granted his prolonged and egregious executive powers,” said Hawley. "Legalizing marijuana is a decision for our state that would come with consequences worth discussing, and I am fearful as usual the Governor will care more about acting quickly to please activists and special interests than examining legalization in earnest and what it would really mean for New York."

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HAWLEY AND MINORITY ASSEMBLY COLLEAGUES DEMAND RELEASE OF DWYER VETERANS PROGRAM FUNDING IN LETTER TO ASSEMBLY SPEAKER HEASTIE AND COMMITTEE CHAIRS

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) and his colleagues in the Assembly Minority have written a letter to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and the chairs of the Assembly committees on Mental Health and Veterans’ Affairs demanding funds for the Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer-to-Peer Support Program be released immediately. More than $4.5 million was allocated for the program in the 2020-2021 Enacted Budget for the program, which connects veterans struggling with mental health conditions with other veterans to help them adapt to civilian life one-on-one.

 

“As a veteran and somebody who has served on the Assembly’s Veterans’ Affairs Committee for 15 years, I can’t overstate how crucial this program is and the impact it has on the lives of our service members returning home from duty,” said Hawley. “The unprecedented times we’re living in have impacted us all, including our veterans, and it is critical we maintain this funding during a period when our mental health is more strained than ever. After working with them to fight back the Governor’s attempts to cut the program entirely last year, I am hopeful we will be able to work with the Majority again to insure this program continues helping our veterans.”

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HAWLEY JOINS MINORITY ASSEMBLY COLLEAGUES IN LETTER TO GOV. CUOMO AND COMMISSIONER ZUCKER DEMANDING LOCAL INPUT IN VACCINE DISTRIBUTION PLANNING

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) joined his colleagues in the Assembly Minority in writing a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker calling on them to include local home rule authorities in the process of developing vaccine distribution plans in order to make them more effective. The letter was drafted in response to reports that vaccine distribution has been slow and ineffective in New York state, with some vaccine doses reportedly being wastefully disposed of due to improper storage.

 

“What we do in these next few weeks with vaccine distribution will determine how much tragedy we will all have to endure as a state, so we need to act now to get these vaccines to the people that need them most, as quickly as possible,” said Hawley. “We need to give the people who know their communities better than anyone a say in planning vaccine distribution, because a singular top-down approach will not work for the varied and unique communities that make up New York State. Getting these vaccines out effectively and promptly will save lives, and we cannot afford to let even a single dose of the vaccine go to waste during this unprecedented public health crisis.”

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HAWLEY ANNOUNCES MAINTENANCE WORK ON NY-237 BRIDGE DECK MOVING FORWARD

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is announcing plans are being finalized to commence needed maintenance work on the NY-237 bridge deck over the Erie Canal in the town of Murray in Orleans County. The work will be completed either this year or in 2022 depending on public safety factors and contractor resource availability. The bridge will need to be closed for six weeks as maintenance work takes place, at which point a detour will be established directing motorists to use NY-31, NY-387, and NY-104. 

 

As the project begins, real-time traffic and construction updates can be found by visiting www.511ny.org.

 

“This maintenance work will help insure this bridge continues to safely serve our community for decades to come, and I am grateful to everybody at the Department of Transportation involved in making this much-needed project a reality,” said Hawley. 


HAWLEY ANNOUNCES MAINTENANCE WORK ON NY-31 BRIDGE DECK PROCEEDING AS PLANNED

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is announcing plans are being finalized to commence needed maintenance work on the NY-31 bridge deck over Falls Road Railroad in the town of Ridgeway in Orleans County. The work will be completed either this year or in 2022 depending on public safety factors and contractor resource availability. The bridge will need to be closed for six weeks as maintenance work takes place, at which point a detour will be established directing motorists to use NY-63, NY-31A, and NY-98 . Both lanes of traffic near the bridge will be open during the annual Orleans County 4-H Fair at the end of July.

 

As the project begins, real-time traffic and construction updates can be found by visiting www.511ny.org.

 

“I am glad to see that this project will be able to move forward in the near future without disrupting the annual Orleans County 4-H Fair,” said Hawley. “This maintenance work will keep this bridge safe and operational for years to come, and I’m grateful to everyone at the Department of Transportation involved in planning this important project.”


HAWLEY REACTS TO GOV. CUOMO’S 2021 STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS

 

Today during the State of the State the governor talked a lot about his solutions, his ideas, and how he knew better than anybody else the pain New Yorkers have endured. The response was characteristic of the governor’s handling of this pandemic, as he’s now for months clung onto his emergency powers while everyday New Yorkers have been left voiceless as their communities wither. This pandemic is too great a challenge for one man to take on alone, and the people of our state deserve to have their concerns brought to light by the representatives they elected to do so.”

JANUARY 7, 2021                                                                                                         

HAWLEY SPEAKS ON VIOLENCE IN WASHINGTON D.C.

"We have our First Amendment for a reason, violence is never acceptable regardless of what you believe politically. We are a people of one nation, regardless of political beliefs."


HAWLEY PLEASED WITH FARM LABORER WAGE BOARD DECISION TO MAINTAIN 60 HOUR OVERTIME THRESHOLD

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is praising the recent decision made by the Department of Labor’s Farm Laborer Wage Board to maintain the 60 hour overtime threshold until at least next November. Hawley had been advocating in recent months to maintain this overtime threshold in light of a proposal to lower it, which Hawley feared would make operating an agri-business even more difficult during what has been a hard year for the agricultural sector due to the negative impact COVID-19 has had on the industry. 

 

“This announcement is a big relief for farmers and agri-business entrepreneurs throughout the state, and I’m glad there’s one less thing to worry about in what’s already been an incredibly challenging year for agriculture,” said Hawley. “While there is still work to be done helping our farmers through the COVID-19 pandemic, I am glad we avoided what would have certainly been a catastrophic mistake for our farmers and agricultural workers and entrepreneurs.”


HAWLEY CALLS FOR REJECTION OF BILL THAT WOULD ALLOW GOV. TO DETAIN THOSE VIEWED AS THREAT TO PUBLIC HEALTH

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is calling on his colleagues in the Legislature to reject Assembly Bill 416, which would give the Governor or his surrogates the authority to detain individuals determined to be a threat to public health. Hawley opposes this legislation as he believes it to be unconstitutional and in violation of the right to due process.

 

“This bill is unconstitutional on its face and disregards all basic concepts of due process that make us free in this country,” said Hawley. “Protecting the health of our neighbors is a noble goal to be certain, but this bill forfeits our constitutional liberty in a way we can never allow. This is yet another piece of legislation from a downstate member of the Majority that blatantly disregards the constitution and causes people to distrust their government. People being detained on a whim just isn’t something that should ever happen in our country, and I will do everything I can to stop the passage of this dystopian legislation.”

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published this page in News 2021-06-24 11:18:45 -0400

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