NEW LEGISLATION ON SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS, CHARITABLE GAMING AS LEGISLATURE ENTERS HOME STRETCH

            When the Legislature returns from Memorial Day break, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) will be garnering support and fighting for new legislation he is optimistic will move forward before the Legislature adjourns for summer break beginning in late June.

            Hawley has amended legislation to further expand rights for charitable gaming organizations such as churches, fire departments and not-for-profits to build on the successes of the  Charitable Gaming Act that became law last year. Hawley’s bill would allow raffle tickets sold on the internet to be purchased by any resident regardless of their location. Current law only allows for raffle sales in the county by which the charitable organization is operating or any contiguous county.

            “This is about continuing to modernize our antiquated charitable gaming laws and allowing the wonderful organizations that conduct these raffles to sell tickets all over the state,” Hawley said. “There are tens of thousands of churches, fire departments, non-profits, Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs across New York that are struggling to still provide great community resources while dealing with these outdated regulations.”

            On the heels of Barbara Underwood’s appointment to fill the last several months of Eric Schneiderman’s term as New York attorney general, Hawley is making a renewed push for legislation that would return power to the voters in the case New York’s comptroller or attorney general resigns or passes away. Currently, the Legislature has the power to hand-pick candidates to fill these vacancies no matter how long of a term is left to serve, while Hawley’s bill would require a statewide election.

            “We have seen far too many statewide elected officials leave office in disgrace, and setting aside the need for more honest government officials, the citizens of this state should always have the supreme right to elect who they wish, not the Legislature,” Hawley said. “This legislation is about protecting our democratic process and sanctity of elections, and I am hopeful it will gain much support after recent events.”

            Following the string of deadly school shootings in recent months, Hawley has introduced new legislation that would allow school districts to employ retired police officers as school safety officers and continue to receive their retirement benefits. In March, Hawley sent a public letter to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie requesting $50,000 for each school across the state to hire resource officers.

            “This is about priorities, and I cannot think of a priority more preeminent than the safety and security of our students,” Hawley said. “My bill includes $50,000 in state funding per school to offset the cost of hiring security officers and an increase of the cap for retired police officers who are receiving a pension in order for them to earn between $30,000 and $50,000 per year.”

 

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