March 2016

March 30, 2016                                     ___                                                _


            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today chastised entrenched Assembly leaders for blocking legislation he introduced that would establish several additional protections for our children from sex predators. Hawley authored legislation to prevent level two and three sex offenders from obtaining employment in amusement parks and another bill requiring certain sex offenders to report their employment addresses. Both were blocked from being voted on by the Assembly Majority.

            “I am extremely disappointed that legislation to protect our children and improve public safety was met with such disregard by the Assembly Majority,” Hawley said. “There is absolutely no excuse for ignoring measures that would prevent sex offenders from striking again and provide safeguards for our children. This is yet another example of the futility of Albany politics. Ideas that would benefit us all often die because they aren’t top priorities of the speaker and his New York City cronies. Assembly Majority members should be ashamed of themselves.”



            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today announced his staunch opposition to rumors that the governor and legislative leaders plan to eliminate the Medicaid Expenditure Cap for counties in the 2016-17 Enacted State Budget. New York already spends more in Medicaid than any other state, more than $54 billion, and is the only state in the nation that forces a majority of the expenses onto counties.

            “I am outraged at the thought of the governor ending the expenditure cap for counties,” Hawley said. “Over one-third of our entire state budget is spent on Medicaid, and now the governor and his New York City cronies want upstate to pay even more because they can’t get their finances in order. That is absolutely outlandish. Our counties cannot afford any more expensive Albany mandates. Eliminating the cap would cause expenses to be passed down to homeowners in the form of higher property taxes. Downstate’s tax and spend mentality is out of control and I plan to fight tooth and nail against this injustice.”

            Local leaders have also expressed concerned regarding the proposed elimination of the Medicaid Expenditure Cap for counties.

            “New York State is the only state in the nation that forces this kind of expense onto localities,” said Orleans County Chief Administrative Officer Chuck Nesbitt. “We sit here and relatively quietly eat the false narrative that evil local government is the cause of high property taxes in New York State and now we have to watch as the state prepares to open the flood gates again of unfunded mandates and let it fall right on the heads of local property taxpayers.”

March 29, 2016                                     ___                                                _



Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) delivers nearly 2,000 petition signatures asking for repair of the Lake Ontario State Parkway to Gov. Cuomo’s office today in Albany

            After decades of neglect and the deplorable and continuing deterioration of the Lake Ontario State Parkway, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has delivered nearly 2,000 petitions signed by local residents asking for state support to better repair and maintain the highway.

            “This is one of the main arteries of Western New York and a popular scenic byway that has been deteriorating for far too long due to our harsh winters and lack of state support,” Hawley said. “The roadway offers residents from around the country access to Lake Ontario, which includes one of the best brown trout fishing spots in the entire country and is a primary tourist destination in my district.”

            Hawley has written to the governor multiple times on this issue, and even sent a video as he drove “carefully” on the parkway but more and more money continues to go to downstate infrastructure projects.
            “Downstate legislators and Gov. Cuomo do not understand the remarkable importance this roadway has on our local economy and the safety of the thousands of families who drive here every year,” Hawley said. “This is why I have gone straight to the voters for support and was pleased to present evidence of tremendous local interest to Gov. Cuomo in the midst of budget negotiations. My hope is to secure funding as we approach the budget deadline at the end of the month.”

March 22, 2016                                     ___                                                _




Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) [second from right] greets New York State Troopers Sgt. Jay Cook [far right] and Maj. Charles Guess [second from left] along with Assemblywoman Janet Duprey (R,I-Peru)[center] in Albany Monday.

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) commended Sgt. Jay Cook and Maj. Charles Guess in the Assembly Chamber Monday for their exemplary service to New York State. Cook is responsible for capturing Clinton County Correctional Facility escapee David Sweat in late June. Guess was the primary supervisor of the manhunt that lasted more than three weeks.

            “These two police officers displayed tremendous courage and determination in their efforts to bring the two Dannemora escapees to justice,” Hawley said. “The New York State Legislature, North Country residents and all New Yorkers owe them a token of gratitude for their efforts. This is yet another timeless example of the willingness of our devoted law enforcement officers to put themselves in harm’s way to help others and protect their community. I was pleased to recognize their efforts in Albany and wish them success in the future.”

March 21, 2016                                     ___                                                _


Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) criticizes the Assembly Majority’s weak transparency reforms

            “The Assembly Majority proposed a handful of so called ‘transparency reforms’ today that were passed in Albany. Measures include broadcasting committee meetings and posting committee votes online but these initiatives do not go nearly far enough.”

            “The Assembly Minority Conference has vigorously fought for true and meaningful ethics reforms like term limits and pension forfeiture for corrupt lawmakers for years but neither of those initiatives was included in this package. This is a step in the right direction but after last year’s string of corruption charges, we need to move in leaps and bounds, not baby steps.”

March 17, 2016                                     ___                                                _




            In light of the Stafford Volunteer Fire Department canceling its annual car raffle due to fundraising restrictions, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia), a Life Member of the Stafford Fire Department, announced today that he has introduced legislation to allow Internet advertising by charitable organizations. Currently, the New York State Constitution does not allow online advertising of charitable games of chance or allow checks or credit cards to be accepted as payment for these raffles.

            “I stand in complete support of the Stafford Fire Department,” Hawley said. “Volunteer fire departments are the crux of any successful public safety apparatus and they deserve our utmost respect, help and assistance in every capacity. Clearly, this is an example of the State Constitution lagging behind in technology and adhering to archaic laws. The Legislature should immediately consider a constitutional amendment to right this injustice, and I have introduced legislation that would allow charitable organizations to advertise raffle tickets online, boosting sales and reaching more residents. I love attending the Stafford Fire Department Raffle and realize its importance to the sustainability of the department and the local community. I pledge to help in any way I can.”

            Hawley is co-sponsoring two bills which would allow charitable organizations holding raffles to accept checks and credit cards. Hawley said he will also be introducing a constitutional amendment to allow non-profit organizations more latitude in their fundraising efforts.  

            “Again, this is an example of selective enforcement,” Hawley said. “I sponsor two bills, A.9322 and A.4716, which would address this issue: one allowing checks as payment for raffle tickets and the other allowing credit as acceptable payment for games of chance. This would allow all of our other not for profits, churches, veterans clubs, service clubs and others who strive to help themselves and our communities to sell tickets online and engage more supporters. These bills are currently being held in the Racing and Wagering Committee, and I will do all that I can to get them passed.”

 March 16, 2016                                     ___                                                _


Editor’s Note: Click Here for an .mp4 of Assemblyman Steve Hawley’s post-presser conference interview


Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) [front left] joins members of the Assembly Minority Conference to call for alternatives to a $15 per hour minimum wage increase.

            Following a press conference held by Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua), Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has denounced the governor’s plan to raise New York’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, citing the devastating impact on small businesses and other  job creators.

            “As a four-decade small-business owner and one who has grown his company from the ground up, I know what we need to jumpstart New York’s stagnant business climate, and a 67 percent minimum wage increase will not work,” Hawley said. “I understand that there are many working poor in our state who are doing everything they can to get by on the current minimum wage, but the consequences of this sharp increase would have the reverse of its intention: causing hundreds of thousands of jobs to be eliminated, companies to move out of state, and consumer prices to increase.”

            Hawley proposed several solutions that would help the working poor directly without hindering small businesses or adversely affecting jobs.

            “I understand that there are many New Yorkers living paycheck to paycheck and I want to help them too,” Hawley said. “I sponsor A.9102, which would expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which hasn’t been adjusted in 12 years. This is estimated to introduce more than 14,000 New Yorkers into the workforce without damaging our business community. I also sponsor, A.7486, which would allow the EITC to be distributed in installment payments to help the working poor with monthly expenses.”

 March 14, 2016                                     ___                                                _


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

             “The Assembly’s One-House Budget Resolution is yet another example of entrenched New York City politicians trying to force misguided and dangerous policy on the rest of the state. The one-house budget, crafted entirely by the Assembly Majority, accepts the governor’s $15 per hour minimum wage increase, which would adversely impact local small businesses. It also decreases agriculture local assistance, hurting Western New York’s fertile farming industry.

            “Furthermore, I am outraged that no repeal of the unconstitutional SAFE Act or large-scale infrastructure funding are included. Both the Gov. and Assembly Majority have proposed eliminating $50 million in winter recovery funds that are vital to my district’s infrastructure after brutal Western New York winters. Last week I called for a large CHIPs increase in the budget and while the Assembly Majority has included a small increase, it is in no comparison to the infrastructure needs of our area’s roads, bridges and highways.

            “What we need are solutions that work for the middle class with upstate views in mind. Tax cuts for businesses and residents would streamline our economy and help produce jobs instead of kill them as the governor and Assembly Majority intend to do. Furthermore, we need to protect our local agriculture industry, and that starts with adequate funding to protect and expand the sector. I intend to fight for these provisions as we move toward a final state budget.”

 March 10, 2016                                     ___                                                _


Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) outlines budget priorities and criticizes NYC’s stranglehold on state politics

            Albany’s apathy toward Western New York’s needs has gone on far too long. Entrenched career politicians continue to expand social spending and feed New York City’s bottomless hole of infrastructure and Medicaid desires at the expense of hard-working, middle-class families in our community. Year after year, frustration mounts as billions of dollars are funneled downstate in exchange for political allegiance and upstate roads and bridges continue to crumble.

            Although we have made progress for farmers and successfully courted valuable new businesses, my main focuses this year are restoring parity to infrastructure funding, restoring the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) funds taken from our schools in 2010, and aiding our struggling small businesses.

            Infrastructure funding is a matter of life and death. With some predicting that the upstate-downstate infrastructure funding gap will increase to $4 billion this year, a recent Rochester area story exacerbated the issue by demonstrating the desperate state of our community’s roads and bridges. Furthermore, the Lake Ontario Parkway and multitude of canal bridges in my district are in dire condition and cause significant automobile damage and safety concerns. In addition, limited access to this road prevent tourists from accessing Oak Orchard Creek, named the best fishing spot in the U.S. for Monster NY Brown Trout in 2013. Join me in this fight and tell Gov. Cuomo and Albany’s elite that we are part of New York too and deserve our fair share.

            An investment in our children is an investment in us all. Unfortunately, New York City politicians do not agree. They slashed billions from the state education budget in 2010 and have since ignored pleas from the education community to return what is rightfully theirs. I have led the charge to restore the GEA and this year is no different. I sponsor multiple bills to end these unfair cuts that limit our students’ opportunities and threaten inspiring teachers and after-school programs. This has to be the year we fully fund our schools. 

            As a small-business owner for over four decades, I know firsthand what it takes to create jobs and grow New York’s economy. Raising the minimum wage is not the answer. A $15 minimum wage will undoubtedly cause businesses to leave the state and, according to the Empire Center, would ultimately cost the state 200,000 jobs. What we need are large-scale tax and regulatory cuts for businesses instead of pay-to-play scenarios and “buying votes” with these bizarre gimmicks. Cutting business taxes will create jobs and provide greater incentives for business owners to stay in New York and keep profits local. I will fight for the mom-and-pop business owners in this year’s budget because they are the lifeblood of our economy.  


 March 9, 2016                                     ___                                                  _



Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) [pictured center] poses with a group of local road and infrastructure supporters following today’s CHIPs press conference

            Following a press conference today in Albany, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia)  called on legislative leaders and Gov. Cuomo to increase funding in this year’s budget for the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS). Currently, the governor has proposed no increase in CHIPS funding in his executive budget.

            “As I’ve said for many years, Western New York’s infrastructure needs are preeminent,” Hawley said. “Our roads, bridges and highways are constantly bombarded with ice wedging, agriculture vehicles and automobiles. Unlike downstate, we have few mass transit systems, so local families and businesses rely on these routes each day and expect them to be safe. Unfortunately, the governor and New York City politicians refuse to provide us the resources necessary to sustain our infrastructure. No increase in CHIPS funding would be devastating for our communities and I urge legislative leaders to do what is right for upstate.”

            Hawley is one of Western New York’s leading proponents for increased infrastructure funding. His Assembly District alone contains 56 percent of the lift bridges on the entire Erie Canal system and major portions of the Lake Ontario State Parkway that are in dire need of repair. Hawley has written the Gov. multiple times in conjunction with other legislators and sent a video illustrating the condition of the parkway.



            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today hailed March as Women’s History Month and Tuesday as International Women’s Day in the U.S., and reminded his colleagues and constituents to take some time to applaud the tremendous accomplishments and progress made by women in our state’s history. Hawley also touted the impressive heritage of women in his family dating back over 100 years.

            “First I would like to pay my deepest respects to our state and country’s brave women who played a tremendous role in shaping history and society despite repeated obstacles,” Hawley said. “We owe them our deepest gratitude and this month is dedicated to praising their impressive lives. My great aunt, Ella Hawley Crossett, played an influential role in the women’s suffrage movement and worked closely with Susan B. Anthony. Also, my grandmother, Emma Charlotte Hawley, was one of the first women elected to a school board in New York State, so this month has special meaning for me.”

March 8, 2016                                     ___                                                  _


            Today is Small Business Day in Albany, and Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is touting New York’s small businesses as one of the driving forces of our state’s economy and pledged his support as budget negotiations heat up this month. Hawley has been a small-business owner for more than four decades and continually advocates to keep profits local and cut taxes and regulations.

            “I know firsthand what it takes to succeed in New York’s suffocating business environment,” Hawley said. “Our state is continually ranked last or close to last in terms of business friendliness and economic outlook and that is unacceptable. I know many small-business owners personally and I can attest to their heart and determination to provide a great life for their families and strengthen their communities by hiring local employees. As we head into budget negotiations, I plan to advocate for the hard-working men and women of the business community to make New York a better place for us all.”

            Hawley, a staunch opponent of the governor’s planned $15 an hour minimum wage, offered some insight into what impact that will have on small businesses.

            “A $15 minimum wage, as proposed by the governor, is the wrong approach for New York,” Hawley said. “The minimum wage is already slated to increase each year for the next several years. Only in New York State do we receive a raise and then complain that it’s not good enough. This measure will kill hundreds of thousands of jobs, according to the Empire Center, and force businesses to relocate to other states.”

March 7, 2016                                     ___                                                  _


            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today called for the full repeal of the NY SAFE Act on the heels of new public safety data showing 81 percent of violations occurred in New York City,  over five times more than in the rest of the state. Hawley called for his legislation, A.2651, to be brought to the floor for a vote following the release of this new data.

            “As many of us said when we were getting force-fed this atrocious piece of legislation, this is an unconstitutional measure that will have little impact on curbing gun violence,” Hawley said. “The numbers are indisputable. The SAFE Act is little more than political pandering to liberal advocates who wanted to punish law-abiding upstate firearm owners for a downstate problem. I sponsor multiple bills, including A.3350, that would repeal the SAFE Act and I will continue to fight for full repeal of this ill-conceived law.”

            Furthermore, Hawley is pushing for a floor vote on his “Two New Yorks” legislation, which would allow for a ballot referendum asking voters whether they support the division of New York into two separate states.  

            “The Two New Yorks legislation, A.4167, has been one of the cornerstones of my platform for many years,” Hawley said. “If passed, it would provide for a non-binding referendum gauging public support for the division of New York into two separate states. Unfortunately, downstate politicians continue to block my bill from coming to the floor because they are fearful of the results. We should never sacrifice transparency and the public’s role in government to accumulate power and wealth. This is the time to vote on Two New Yorks, after seeing how upstate values are continually being stifled in exchange for New York City values, and that is dangerous.”

March 2, 2016                                     ___                                                  _


            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today sharply criticized Gov. Cuomo over his proposed plan to widen the disparity between upstate and downstate infrastructure funding in this year’s budget. Some say the New York City area could receive as much as $4 billion more than upstate for things like airport reconstructions, the Tappan Zee Bridge and budget deficits at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

            “What the governor and my legislative colleagues from downstate do not understand is that the vast majority of upstate residents use automobiles as their primary form of transportation,” Hawley said. “There is no such thing as a subway or readily available taxi in Western New York. Everyone from our children who ride the bus to school, to our parents who drive to work, to our farmers who transport produce to market uses local roads, bridges and highways. Deficient infrastructure puts families at risk every day and continues to cause expensive repairs to the suspensions and tires of automobiles. We are part of New York too and deserve our fair share!”

            Hawley’s comments come after recent news articles surfaced illustrating how downstate politicians are trying to secure more funding for pet projects during budget negotiations. A recent story regarding the Rochester area has brought to light the desperate state of its bridges.  Local highway superintendents and other public officials have echoed Hawley’s calls for more adequate funding of upstate infrastructure.

            “The Town of Hamlin, like many small rural towns, desperately needs their fair share of infrastructure money,” said Town of Hamlin Highway Superintendent Steven Baase. “There is no mass transit here, so everything relies on the condition of roads and bridges. The price of rebuilding or maintaining roads is skyrocketing, but we still have to comply with the tax cap. We are falling farther behind in road repairs and something has to give. Please reinstate the infrastructure parity between upstate and downstate in the budget. It is imperative!”



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

            “I would like to congratulate Russell Martino on his appointment as an ad hoc member of the board of the Yates Wind Project. I am pleased to see that Orleans County will be fairly represented in this process and that the board is allowing ordinary citizens to voice concerns about local projects. As I’ve said before, this is a local project that would greatly impact the Yates community and I fully support the decision to oppose the APEX Clean Energy Lighthouse, LLC. Local citizens know what is best for their community and this appointment is a great example of transparent and inclusive government.”

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