March 2015

March 31, 2015                      ___                                                       ___

BUDGET BILLS TAINTED WITH STATE-CONTROLLED EDUCATION AND SAFE ACT FUNDING

            “I cannot, in good conscience, support a budget that allows the state to have power over the needs of individual school districts and classrooms. The education component of the budget gives the State Department of Education (SED) too much latitude in implementing the teacher evaluation system. We should have included teacher groups and school administrators in these decisions instead of leaving it up to bureaucrats and armchair educators. Furthermore, this budget makes no mention of exceptions for special education teachers’ evaluations, whose students will likely struggle with Common Core testing, and we will likely see a large number of students score poorly on Common Core Assessments.

            “I cannot support budget measures which include funding for the SAFE Act. The Capital Projects and State Operations budget bills appropriate millions to be used for the SAFE Act database and personnel. It is unfortunate that good legislation is often tainted with politically-advantageous appropriations. I refuse to vote for legislation that funds an irresponsible and shameful measure that was passed in the middle of the night without public input or adequate time for discussion and debate.”


 

HAWLEY ANNOUNCES MILLIONS IN AID

TO AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today announced that the Legislature has included several well-funded programs in the 2015-16 Enacted Budget that will bolster local agriculture. Hawley announced a $1 million initiative for the Beginning Farmers NY Fund to attract young people to the career of farming, a $4.2 million increase for local agriculture assistance programs, and a $500,000 loan fund for the Soil and Water Conservation Committee to create a revolving loan fund for drain tile installation on farms. 

            “As the former owner of Hawley Farms, I know the struggles that farmers face on a yearly basis,” Hawley said. “I have worked tirelessly to advocate on behalf of Western New York’s farmers and I am proud to see these proposals pass in the Assembly today. Farmers constantly deal with threats to their businesses such as drought, heavy rainfall and destructive insects. These proposals will help keep our agriculture industry flourishing, entice young people to the industry, and allow farmers to obtain loans they will use to protect and enhance their crop production.”


 

HAWLEY VOLUNTEERS TO GET PIED IN THE FACE

TO BENEFIT THE UNITED WAY

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Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) poses after getting pied several times at a fundraiser at the Genesee County Nursing Home Friday.

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) recently attended a fundraiser to benefit the United Way at the Genesee County Nursing Home in his hometown of Batavia. Hawley volunteered to have fifteen pies thrown in his face and enjoyed visiting with residents and helping the charitable cause. 

            “As a former Genesee City Chair of the United Way Campaign, it is truly an honor to give back to the residents and charities in my hometown,” Hawley said. “The United Way features an extensive network of volunteers that stretches nationwide and coordinates efforts with prominent businesses to spread its message. I enjoyed my time here at the Genesee County Nursing Home and I will certainly get pied again to benefit the cause.”

March 23, 2015                      ___                                                       ___ 

HAWLEY: SURPLUS COULD

JUMPSTART UPSTATE ECONOMY

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) said today that upstate economic development would be the best option for the state’s $610 million surplus, obtained as result of a recent bank settlement. Hawley criticized Gov. Cuomo’s proposed Upstate Revitalization Fund for pitting communities against each other and said surplus funding should be appropriated in a more equitable fashion. 

            “The surplus would best serve the people of this state by promoting economic revitalization in upstate New York,” said Hawley. “The governor’s competition plan is a misguided approach that pits communities against each other and creates three winners and four losers. By splitting this money evenly among the seven regions or combining it with the governor’s plan, we could ensure that more regions see tangible economic development. The state’s financial investments in businesses and local projects over the past several years have been hugely beneficial, especially in the rural areas of my district. This surplus funding should be invested back into upstate communities and support projects that will attract new businesses and jobs to many struggling areas of the state.”

            Hawley’s comments come after a press release issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services revealed that Commerzbank has paid a $610 million fine to New York State as part of a punitive package for financial and accountability crimes. 


 

HAWLEY: ALIX’S LAW IS LONG OVERDUE

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

            “Alix’s law is a crucial measure that would ensure proper prosecution of those who chose to leave the scene of an accident while intoxicated. We need this legislation to close a dangerous loophole and hold intoxicated drivers accountable and prevent deaths that often occur in hit-and-run accidents. Today marks the fourth time this legislation has been passed in the Senate but has never been taken up for a vote in Assembly. I am calling on leadership in the Assembly to follow the Senate’s lead and pass Alix’s Law to ensure a higher level of safety and accountability on our roadways.”   

 


 

HAWLEY CALLS FOR ASSEMBLY TO FOLLOW

SENATE LEAD ON MENTAL HYGIENE

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today called on the Assembly to fully fund or adopt three proposals, aimed at helping veterans and farmers, which the Senate has included in its one-house budget. Hawley emphasized the need for increased funding for localities to better address veterans’ mental health initiatives, the peer-to-peer mentoring program that assists veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI), and Farm-Net. Hawley, a veteran of the Ohio Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves, currently serves as the Ranking Republican Member of the Assembly’s Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. He has also been appointed to the Joint Senate and Assembly Budget Conference Committee on Mental Hygiene.

            “As a veteran, I understand the struggles that those who serve our military face when they return home,” Hawley said. “The peer-to-peer mentoring program and funding for mental health initiatives that the Senate has included in its budget are near and dear to my heart and will assist those who have defended our country with PTSD and other mental health issues they suffer while in combat. I have long advocated for veterans’ affairs because we owe those who have sacrificed so much the highest quality of care and access to services so they may return to the life they had before their service. I am calling on the Assembly to pass the Senate’s proposals and protect those who protect our nation.”

            Hawley, the former owner of Hawley Farms and representative of a district containing many farm operations, also advocated for an increase in funding for Farm-Net. The program allows health professionals access to farms to offer counseling on a variety of themes including family issues, software training and financial information. 

            “As the former owner of our family-owned farm, I know first-hand the sacrifices farm families make for their businesses,” Hawley said. “This is an extremely important initiative for the farms in my district as well as groups that advocate on behalf of agriculture producers. Farmers typically live in rural areas and are not afforded the same access to technology and financial information as other businesses. This funding will allow personal access to advisors who can assist farm families on budget issues and crucial financial facets of running a business. I am calling on the Assembly leadership to take up the Senate’s proposal and increase Farm-Net.” 

March 19, 2015                      ___                                                       ___ 

HAWLEY SPONSORS LEGISLATION

TO EASE FINANCIAL BURDEN ON FARMERS

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Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) (pictured back row, center) poses with members of the Genesee, Monroe and Orleans county Farm Bureaus.

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) announced today that he has become a co-sponsor on legislation, Assembly Bill 06256, that will ease the financial burden placed on farmers. The bill would forgo the requirement that farmers who employ aliens admitted to the United States to perform farm labor pay unemployment insurance for such workers. Under state law, alien laborers are not eligible for unemployment insurance, so there is no need for employers to pay into the unemployment insurance fund. 

            “I have introduced this legislation with Assemblyman Bill Magee (D-Madison County), current Chair of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture, after meeting with Farm Bureau representatives from my district,” Hawley said. “As the former owner of Hawley Farms, I know firsthand how hard farmers work for their profits and that sustainability of their business is not guaranteed year to year. This is common-sense legislation that will correct a glaring deficiency in the labor law that mandates farmers pay unemployment insurance for workers who are ineligible. My district contains many farm operations and I will do everything I can to help them keep more of their profits.”


 

HAWLEY ANNOUNCES UPDATE

ON ALBION BRIDGE REPAIR PROJECT

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today announced an update regarding the Route 98 Lift Bridge in the Village of Albion. An evaluation of the bridge took place recently, and it was decided that Wednesday, March 25 is the scheduled date to begin repairs. The bridge will be closed to traffic for an estimated two to three weeks. 

            “I am pleased to see that these repairs remain on schedule and motorists will only be inconvenienced for three weeks at the most,” Hawley said. “This bridge is frequently used by families and businesses who deserve to feel safe as they travel. Much of New York’s infrastructure is in desperate need of repair, and I plan to advocate for increased funding during this year’s budget negotiations.”

            Due to the construction, truck traffic will be detoured using Route 387 (Fancher Road) via Routes 31 and 104. Regular automobile traffic can cross the Erie Canal at Ingersoll Street.  Bicyclists and pedestrians can cross the bridge at the discretion of construction workers. For questions regarding the repairs, please contact Engineer-in-Charge Scott Sullivan at (585) 589-6655.

March 18, 2015                      ___                                                       ___ 

HAWLEY MEETS WITH MILITARY LEADERS FROM FORT DRUM

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Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) (pictured third from the right) talked with members of New York’s Fort Drum military base in Albany Tuesday.

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) Tuesday joined several other Assembly Minority members, including Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua), for a meet and greet with soldiers from Fort Drum Military Base in Jefferson County. Hawley currently serves as Ranking Minority Member of the Assembly’s Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

            “I am honored to have had the opportunity to meet and talk with military leaders from Fort Drum today,” Hawley said. “The historic 10th Mountain Division guards our northern border and trains members of the military who deploy all over the world. As a former member of the Ohio Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves, I know firsthand the sacrifice and courage members of the military bring to their duties every day and I will continue to support services for veterans here in Albany.”


 

HAWLEY REPRESENTS ASSEMBLY MINORITY CONFERENCE AT JOINT BUDGET HEARING ON MENTAL HYGIENE

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Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) seen left talking budget priorities with Assemblyman John Ceretto (R,C,I-Lewiston)

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has been named Assembly Minority Conference Representative for the Joint Senate and Assembly Budget Conference Committee on Mental Hygiene. The committee conducted the first of several meetings Monday to outline the Senate and Assembly one-house budgets and discuss the priorities of each conference. 

            “I am proud to represent the interests of my conference as well as my constituents as we head into more complex budget negotiations,” Hawley said. “When leadership in the Assembly attempted to decrease funding for the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities by $90 million in 2013, I fought hard to restore it. As part of this committee, I will ensure that those with mental illness are treated fairly and that we fund mental health programs to the best of our abilities in this year’s budget. An initiative I feel strongly about is one included in the Senate one-house budget that increases aid to localities for various mental health initiatives for veterans. As a veteran myself, I feel as though those who sacrifice for our nation deserve the highest quality of care upon retirement from the armed services.  I will be fighting for this provision in this year’s enacted budget.”

March 17, 2015                      ___                                                       ___ 

NEW YORKERS DESERVE A CHOICE:

PUT TWO NEW YORKS TO A VOTE

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

            The more time I spend in the Assembly, the more I notice the distinction between New York City and upstate New York. It is clear to me that the needs of downstate continue to dominate New York State politics. Year after year, New York City drains our education fund dry and more attention is given to things like rent control and New York City’s mass transit system; issues for which upstate New Yorkers have little concern. Two-thirds of representatives in the Assembly have districts south of the Tappan Zee Bridge and their interests continue to dominate the budget process while upstate is left to fight for scraps. 

            With recent news emerging about the Southern Tier toying with the idea of secession to Pennsylvania, upstate New Yorkers deserve to have a choice about splitting from New York City now more than ever. In 2012, New York spent more on Medicaid than Florida and Texas combined, and this year’s budget will surely raise that to an even higher level. Why should upstate be forced to take home less pay because of those who chose to remain on government assistance and abuse the system for benefits such as rent and energy assistance and funding for appliances and groceries?

            Sen. Joseph Robach (R,C,I-Rochester) and I have recently introduced legislation (A.4167) to allow a referendum on the question, “Do you support the division of New York into two separate states?” In doing so, we could measure the citizen support for this initiative to determine if it is actually feasible. As liberals from New York City continue to move upstate generation after generation, they will undoubtedly support increased services and more taxation.

            New York has one of the highest exodus rates in the country. Younger generations are realizing that a life in New York is not sustainable due to the abusive tax structure and lack of employment opportunities. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to see if separation from New York City is actually feasible. Without the expensive downstate burden, we could gain education funding, lower taxes, have full Second Amendment rights, and more opportunities to experience the “American Dream.” Join me in fighting for upstate and passing my legislation so we can build a better “New New York.” 

March 16, 2015                      ___                                                       ___  

ASSEMBLY LEADERSHIP FINALLY ADDRESSES WOMEN’S EQUALITY

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today commented on the Assembly’s decision to pass one plank of the 10-point omnibus Women’s Equality Act (WEA). Hawley was proud to see this legislation finally come before the entire Assembly for a vote and said that a measure of such great importance should not have taken this long to pass the house. The Assembly Majority has blocked separate WEA bills from moving out of committee in order to use the entire 10-bill package, which contains a controversial abortion provision, as a tool for political gain.

            “Today we take a giant leap forward toward enacting true gender equality for New York’s women,” Hawley said. “It is unfortunate that a measure of this magnitude was held for so long in committee by members of the Majority. It is a disservice to New York’s women and an embarrassment to our government that we could not bring this legislation to the floor for a vote earlier. The Assembly Minority Conference has been at the forefront of passing this package as separate bills for years, and today we can finally claim victory.”

            Hawley’s comments come after the Assembly passed A.506, which will enact the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act.  Identical legislation, Assembly Bill 2704, was introduced by the Minority Conference several years ago but members of the Majority have refused to take action upon it.

March 13, 2015                      ___                                                       ___  

ASSEMBLY ONE-HOUSE BUDGET PAYS

 LITTLE ATTENTION TO UPSTATE NEEDS

            “The Assembly’s one-house budget resolution all but ignores the needs of upstate families,” said Hawley. “Unfortunately, a large portion of economic development funding was gutted from the budget proposal, funding that my district has used to upgrade its infrastructure, help struggling companies stay afloat, and expand and foster community projects. It includes a crippling minimum wage hike which will surely stifle business expansion, restrict the ability to hire new employees, and raise prices for groceries and other consumer items.” 

            “I have been fighting tooth and nail to restore the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) education cuts that were unfairly taken from our school districts in 2010, and our house’s budget resolution repays $150 million less than it did last year toward restoration of these cuts. Furthermore, Assembly Majority members had yet another chance to pass meaningful ethics reform and adopt Gov. Cuomo’s proposals. They ignored many of the governor’s reforms and have left New York vulnerable to more abuses of power and taxpayer money. We can and should do better for upstate families, and I will work with my legislative colleagues to make sure this does not stand.”

March 11, 2015                      ___                                                       ___  

BUDGET PRIORITIES: BUSINESSES, MANDATE RELIEF AGRICULTURE AND ETHICS

A Legislative column from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I – Batavia)

            As we dive deeper into this year’s budget negotiations, I remain troubled by the early information regarding the Assembly’s one-house budget. There appears to be little focus on the needs of upstate. Early indications are that the Assembly Majority will focus on minimum wage hikes and a large increase in school aid from Gov. Cuomo’s proposed Executive Budget. While these initiatives may help certain groups, they are not the solution for upstate New York.

            Downstate politicians are continuing pass laws that place costs on local governments without the state contributing a dime.  These are called unfunded mandates and they are the driving force behind rising property, school and local taxes.  What Albany doesn’t understand is that when municipalities can’t afford mandates, they must raise taxes on their residents to cover the costs.  This process happens almost every year and is something I have been fighting for years.  I sponsor several bills, including the New York state property taxpayers protection act, that would suspend or permanently end this fiscal assault on our school districts and local governments.

            The upstate economy has not fully recovered and our businesses are still hindered by the plethora of regulation and taxes placed on them by our government over the years. As a longtime small-business owner, I know the daily struggles of competing in New York’s suffocating economic climate. If New York is truly to be “Open for Business” we need to cut taxes, fees and regulations to allow our businesses to hire more employees, reinvest profits and remain in New York State. Our enacted budget has routinely ignored small business development and I will continue to work with the governor and legislative leaders to prevent that from happening again.

            My district, as well as many areas in upstate New York, contains a multitude of farms and agriculture producers. Most legislators do not grasp the importance of farms because they are from downstate and lack firsthand experience. I grew up on a family-owned farm and can tell you that farmers are some of the most genuine hardworking people on the planet. Their determination and skill feeds the rest of the state. I have fought to include funding for aspiring farmers and crop production in previous budgets and I pledge to continue my unwavering support this budget cycle.

            Another top priority of mine remains ethics reform. The arrest and demise of former Speaker Silver has left a sour taste in the mouths of many legislators and citizens of the state. If ethics reform is ever going to pass, this year is the best chance we have. I have been calling for the forfeiture of pensions from corrupt politicians and tougher campaign finance requirements for years. Gov. Cuomo has made a point to emphasize ethics reforms as part of his Executive Budget proposal and I would support his reforms and an even more comprehensive package should they be included in this year’s budget. We owe it to ourselves and the citizens of New York to hold our government to a higher standard.


 

HAWLEY TO SPONSOR BILL GIVING TAX CREDITS TO FARMERS

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) announced today that he will sponsor a bill to provide tax credits against New York State Thruway tolls for farmers who travel the highway.  Assembly Bill 2414 provides a tax credit of 75 percent of the Thruway tolls assumed by farmers in order to allow them more profits when selling their products across the state. Hawley said this is a vital piece of legislation that will help sustain the farms in his Western New York district and allow them to sell crops statewide. 

            “Growing up on our family’s farm, I know firsthand the struggles our farmers face every year,” Hawley said. “Profits are not guaranteed and much of the business relies not only on the ability to produce a high yield of crops, but also the ability to transport those products across the state and sell them at a variety of outlets. Thruway tolls are continuing to rise, and large-box trucks and farm vehicles are not allowed on smaller highways. Because of this, farmers are losing a large amount of their profits in tolls. This bill would allow greater intrastate commerce while also financially supporting those who feed our state.”

            The legislation is a bipartisan effort currently awaiting action in the Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee. Under the bill, to receive the tax credit, farm vehicles cannot exceed 26,000 pounds, must be controlled and operated by a farmer for the transport of agriculture products, farm supplies or farm machinery.

March 10, 2015                      ___                                                       ___  

ASSEMBLY MISSES OPPORTUNITY FOR INCREASED TRANSPARENCY AND OPENNESS

          “Today, the Assembly had a tremendous opportunity to improve the way our house functions by increasing transparency, openness and accountability. At a press conference held last week by Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua), the Assembly Minority Conference introduced a total of 17 different rules proposals that would drastically increase integrity in our recently besmirched government and restore faith in the people’s house.  I offered a resolution requiring a two-thirds vote to approve messages of necessity after the Assembly has been in session for more than eight hours.  These have been abused by the Governor and legislature in recent years.  Most notably, the SAFE Act was passed in this way to infringe on the rights of law-abiding gun owners while the media and public slept.  Messages of necessity should only be used when time is truly of the essence, not when artificial deadlines loom.”

            “Unfortunately, Majority leadership in the Assembly chose to ignore the growing call for ethics reforms and transparency statewide and did not accept the proposed amendments. As a devoted public servant, I am sincerely disappointed that we could not make these reforms a reality. Though it has been several weeks since former Speaker Silver was arrested on federal corruption charges, not a single piece of pro-transparency or ethics legislation has come before members of the Assembly for a vote. That is unacceptable, and I will continue to push for a higher standard of government as long as I hold a seat in the Assembly.”  

March 6, 2015                      ___                                                       ___  

HAWLEY CALLS FOR INCREASED FUNDING FOR LOCAL INFRASTRUCTURE

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) attended a press conference Wednesday held by Sen. Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) to call for an increase in funding for local roads, culverts and bridges. The press conference called on the governor and Legislature to increase funding for the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) during this year’s budget negotiations. 

            “Preserving the safety of our roads, bridges and culverts is especially important to my district, where many small businesses and agriculture producers transport products,” Hawley said. “The past few winters have been considerably difficult and have taken their toll on our local roads and bridges. This funding is necessary to ensure the safety of our local business people and the families and school buses that travel these roads almost every day.”


 

BATAVIA RANKED AMONG

TOP MICROPOLITAN AREAS NATIONWIDE

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) announced today that his hometown of Batavia has been ranked 4th among the Top Micropolitan Areas for Corporate Facility Investment nationwide. The list, chosen by Site Selection Magazine, included areas that had the highest number of projects in the community leading to additional investment or job creation.  Hawley was pleased to have one of the major areas in his district ranked so high on the list and said he is happy to see that his persistent advocacy on behalf of our state’s businesses and economic climate has paid off. 

            “Having grown up in Batavia and spent a great deal of time trying to improve the city for its residents, this is a tremendous honor,” said Hawley. “Just a few years ago, New York’s economy was looking bleak. Now, major businesses have been moving into the area and economic development grants have given us the spark we need to jumpstart Western New York’s economy. I am proud to say that we have once again risen to the top of the economic ladder and things can only get better from here.”

            To be considered for the list of top micropolitan areas, municipalities had to have a population between 10,000 and 50,000 residents and cover at least one county. Project investment in the micropolitan areas must have qualified in at least one of three ways: a capital investment of at least $1 million, creation of at least 20 new jobs, or the addition of at least 20,000 square feet of new floor area.     

March 5, 2015                      ___                                                       ___  

HAWLEY REAFFIRMS SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today renewed his support for New York’s small businesses as the Legislature begins budget negotiations. Hawley cited his own small business ownership and urged the Legislature to make cutting regulations and taxes for small businesses a priority in this year’s budget negotiations. 

            “As the owner and operator of a small business for many years, I know the amount of hard work and determination it takes to succeed in New York’s economic climate,” Hawley said.  “Small businesses are the backbone of this nation and the driving force behind employment and  economic growth, and are oftentimes family owned for generations. It is unfortunate that Gov. Cuomo and the Assembly leadership have, year after year, neglected to enact sweeping deregulation and tax cuts for small businesses to help them hire more employees and compete with larger corporations. My district is home to many small businesses and I will be sure to make their voices heard during this year’s budget negotiations.”

            Hawley has received 100% ratings from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and Unshackle Upstate for his legislative votes during the 2013-14 year.  Hawley also urged other legislators to sponsor and support the Small Business Full Employment Act. 

            “This legislation provides a comprehensive overhaul of how we regulate and tax small businesses,” Hawley said. “The bill focuses on cornerstones of economic growth such as tax cuts for businesses with fewer than 100 employees, repeal of the 18-A utility tax and tax credits for creating new jobs. I urge my Assembly colleagues to support this bill and help our businesses thrive in a less than ideal economic climate.”

            Hawley’s comments came on Small Business Day in Albany, hosted by the NFIB.  Hawley has been a staunch supporter of the organization’s efforts during his years in the Assembly.     

March 4, 2015                      ___                                                       ___  

HAWLEY: NOW IS THE TIME FOR RULES REFORM

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Members of the Assembly Minority Conference attend a press conference to push for rules reforms

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today called on the Legislature to pass a comprehensive Assembly Rules Reform package. Hawley said this legislation cannot be delayed any longer in the wake of major scandals involving top house leadership. The proposals are aimed at greatly improving openness, transparency and accountability. 

            “The people of New York deserve a higher standard of government,” Hawley said.  “These reforms will stand in stark contrast to the sea of corruption we have seen over the past few years. The public is sick and tired of lies, backroom deals and the secrecy that has shrouded the Legislature for years. It is long past the time to shed some light on our internal workings. I have included my own proposal in this package that would mandate a two-thirds vote in the house to pass a message of necessity.  This would prevent future abuses such as the SAFE-Act from coming to the floor for a vote before proper debate and discussion has been initiated. I am calling on my Assembly colleagues across the aisle, who called for these very same proposals weeks ago, to stand with us today and bring this legislation to the floor for a vote.”

            Hawley’s comments come after a press conference was held in Albany today by Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua) to introduce legislation to overhaul the Assembly’s rules. Highlights of the package include term limits for legislative leaders and committee chairs, and allowing each member of the Assembly to bring one piece of substantial legislation to the floor for a vote.


 

HAWLEY ANNOUNCES FUNDS TO PROMOTE GREENHOUSE PRODUCTION

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) announced today that grants totaling more than $500,000 have been distributed by National Grid to support an expansion of the Intergrow Greenhouses, Inc. in Gaines. Hawley praised the funding as investment into Western New York’s vast agriculture and small business market and pledged his continued support of similar industries in the region.

            “I am pleased to see that one of our local small businesses and produce growers has received funding for its business expansion,” Hawley said. “Too often financial help is given to large companies that don’t need it or are not as influential in their region as Intergrow Greenhouses, Inc. The greenhouse expansion will create about a dozen new jobs and retain dozens of employees. New York has a proud agricultural heritage. I pledge to fight for its support, both financially and institutionally, as we move into this year’s budget negotiations.”

            The grants are part of National Grid’s economic development and energy efficiency programs, which focus on job creation and streamlining utilities for businesses. The greenhouse expansion will increase crop yield, reduce lighting costs by 30 percent and allow growers to produce tomatoes year-round. 

 

March 3, 2015                      ___                                                       ___  

HAWLEY READS TO CHILDREN IN HONOR OF READ ACROSS AMERICA DAY

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Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) reads to children at Churchville Elementary.

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) read to elementary school children on Friday in honor of Read Across America Day, also know as Dr. Seuss Day, which takes place Monday, March 2. Hawley was excited to spread the joy that reading can bring to a child’s life and demonstrate the importance it plays in becoming a well- rounded student and successful scholar. 

            “I thoroughly enjoyed my experience reading to the children at Churchville Elementary,” said Hawley. “Reading can transform a child’s imagination and provide them with a wealth of knowledge and insight far beyond the scope of many other activities. It is crucial that young children read as much as possible in their developmental years to expand their vocabularies, increase their ability to quickly process information and deepen their knowledge of a variety of issues.”

 

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