June 2014

June 30, 2014                                                                                  


            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today announced that the old Wal-Mart building in Brockport will not be used to house illegal immigrant children. After Hawley explained that Brockport would be unable to handle such a facility, the Department of Health and Human Services contacted the assemblyman to inform him the site would no longer be under consideration.

            “The decision to not have the facility in our community is ultimately the right one. Brockport residents and upstate New York taxpayers can’t afford to be paying for the housing, healthcare and education of illegal immigrant children,” said Hawley. “It’s important that we do everything to help these children, but Brockport is ill equipped for such an undertaking long term.”

            When the federal government announced it was targeting an old Wal-Mart building in Brockport to house illegal immigrants, Hawley contacted the Department of Health and Human Services to illustrate why it would be a poor decision to do so. Brockport came under consideration after the Lexington Commerce Center in the town of Greece was ruled out as a possible housing site. Other locations under consideration have not yet been announced.

June 26, 2014                                                                                  


            "The recent news that the federal government is looking at the old Wal-Mart building in Brockport to house illegal immigrants is deeply concerning to me. Our community is ill-equipped to handle such an undertaking and the undue stress it would place upon our local economy cannot be understated. It is imperative that we help these undocumented immigrant children temporarily, but upstate New York taxpayers can’t afford to be paying for their housing, healthcare and education long term.

“This consideration, coming on the heels of the decision not to use the Lexington Commerce Center in the town of Greece, needs to be addressed immediately and I encourage all my neighbors to contact the Office of Health and Human Services to express their personal concerns. Placing this facility in Brockport would inherently change the landscape of our town and I hope the federal government recognizes that when weighing their options.”

June 23, 2014                                                                                      



            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) pointed out many unresolved priorities at the end of the 2014 Legislative Session. Hawley singled out the lack of significant tax relief for middle-class families as the biggest missed opportunity of the year. In addition, Hawley noted the lack of action on repealing the SAFE Act and recommended that the legislative session every year be shortened by at least two months.

            “The families of Western New York deserve better than what the downstate, New York City politicians have given them. These families desperately need property tax relief, and the only way to accomplish that is through significant mandate relief,” said Hawley. “The vast majority of local spending is driven by state mandates, the cost of which is passed on to taxpayers. By not addressing these mandates, New York City’s special interests have protected the unsustainable status quo.”

            The two largest unfunded mandates imposed by the state on municipalities are Medicaid and state pensions. Others include public assistance programs, various administrative reporting requirements, and education spending. These mandates eat up as much as 90 percent of a locality’s budget, driving the vast majority of its spending. Localities will be free to lower property taxes only when the state rolls back its oppressive mandate regime.

            “I also want to reaffirm my commitment to restoring Second Amendment rights by repealing the SAFE Act. It is disappointing that the legislature refused to revisit the law, even though its flaws have become evident. It is an issue that needs to be stridently pushed in the courts or at the ballot box,” said Hawley.

            Hawley also suggested a reduction in the number of days spent in session every year. Each year, the state spends $20.8 million per month holding session. Significant savings could be seen by shortening the amount of time in session and curbing the per diem abuse that has been the center of several scandals in Albany. This is one way to start chipping at the leviathan state government, reduce spending, and keep money in the hands of taxpayers.

June 17, 2014 



            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today announced movement of legislation, A.9216, to a floor vote which assists military families who have to relocate to New York because of a change in their duty stations and veterans who are transitioning back into civilian life. It allows children of these military families flexibility in course requirements when transferring to new schools because of the move. It also allows veterans who are new to the state to receive in-state tuition at SUNY and CUNY schools. The bill makes the family members of men and women who died from combat wounds eligible for supplemental burial allowance, and allows the Department of State to let out-of-state licensed real estate brokers in military families practice in New York.

            “As the ranking member on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I considered this bill a high priority because it addresses issues unique to military families. This legislation will make the transition for military families into New York easier. This is one small way we can show our appreciation for the men and women who serve our country,” said Hawley.

June 17, 2014                                                                                      



            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today announced the beginning of his annual Summer Reading Challenge for elementary and middle school students. The challenge requires students to read at least 15 minutes each day for 40 days in the months of July and August. The children who complete the challenge will receive an official certificate from Hawley recognizing their achievement.

            “Helping young people develop reading skills is critical to their education. I encourage every parent who wants their child to have a productive summer to get a Summer Reading Challenge from my office,” said Hawley. “My hope for this challenge is that it helps develop a lifelong love of reading that benefits them for the rest of their lives.”

            Parents who want their kids to participate in the Summer Reading Challenge can contact Hawley’s office at 585-589-5780 to obtain a Summer Reading Challenge brochure, which has the list of recommended readings and a calendar to track progress.

June 14, 2014                                                                                        

 Flag Day 2014


Flag Day commemorates an important moment in our nation’s history—the adoption of the American Flag as the symbol for our fledgling nation.  The Stars and Stripes has inspired our soldiers to press forward on the battlefield, everyday people to live extraordinary lives, and filled our hearts with gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy. This powerful symbol has helped unite our diverse country toward the principles of our founding. On this day, I ask everyone to take time and reflect on our nation’s history, where we came from, and where we are going.

June 12, 2014                                                                                       





The 4th grade class of Byron Bergen Elementary School, went to Albany to make yogurt the official state snack. Here, the class is pictured in the Capitol with Assemblyman Steve Hawley and Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer, who worked to pass the legislation.

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) and State Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer (R,C,I-Amherst) today welcomed the 4th grade class of Byron Bergen Elementary School to Albany. The students came to Albany to lobby members of the Assembly to pass their bill to make yogurt New York’s official state snack. The bill passed the State Senate last month, and was passed by the Assembly with the students in attendance. The legislation now goes to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

            “Today was truly a good day at the Capitol. These students are learning how to take part in the democratic process, and that is a great thing to behold. Through their advocacy, they let legislators know why yogurt should be our official state snack. Today they are lobbying for yogurt, and because of this learning experience, tomorrow they may be pushing to solve our nation’s biggest challenges,” said Hawley.

            In their efforts to lobby for the bill, Hawley, Ranzenhofer and Byron Bergen’s students staged an event to distribute yogurt to state legislators, staffers and others in the Capitol. They also performed skits to promote the health benefits of yogurt and its importance to the New York economy. New York is the leading producer of yogurt in the country, making 692 million pounds of the snack every day.

June 10, 2014                                                                                     


Students responsible for campaign to make yogurt the official state snack

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) and State Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer (R,C,I-Amherst) will welcome the students of Byron Bergen Elementary School’s 4th grade class to Albany to perform original skits to highlight the legislation suggested by them to make yogurt the official state snack. These students are learning important lessons about government and civic participation such as how laws are made and how citizens can make an impact on the process.

            “This group of legislators in training from Byron Bergen Elementary School has, through their advocacy, helped the yogurt bill to pass the State Senate. The lessons that these students are learning through this process are invaluable and will stick with them as they grow,” said Hawley. “I’m hopeful that we will be able to pass this in the Assembly and finish the work that these youngsters started. This process has been one of the most enjoyable moments during my time in the Assembly, and I’m thankful for the contribution these students have made.”

            The students chose yogurt as the official state snack because of its importance to the state’s economy. New York produces 692 million pounds of yogurt every year, making New York the leading producer of yogurt in the country. The yogurt industry is part of New York’s dairy industry, which is the fourth-largest in the nation. The dairy industry in New York generates $2.4 billion in sales, providing economic benefits and employment for all upstate New York farmers.

June 6, 2014                                                                                     




            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today remembered the sacrifice of the soldiers who lost their lives in the D-Day invasion. The successful invasion of Normandy cost the Allied forces over 4,400 lives, but turned the tide of the war and led to the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi control. Hawley issued the following statement:       

            “D-Day was one of the finest hours in American military history. The bravery and heroism of the men who stormed the beaches and fought through German defenses changed the course of history. On its 70th anniversary, I ask that everyone takes a moment to reflect on the sacrifice of the men who died in the battle. They gave their lives to secure freedom for both Americans and Europeans. As we reflect, let’s commit ourselves to living in a way that honors the sacrifice they made.”

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