November 2013

November 19, 2013                                                                                 





            I recently participated in a pair of regional forums organized by the Assembly Minority Conference to address concerns, comments and questions regarding the Common Core curriculum. The controversial new education platform has drawn criticism from parents, teachers and students, prompting myself and my colleagues to host a series of public events locally and throughout the state.


            Many parents, teachers and students have grave concerns with Common Core, and they deserve to have their voices heard. These forums allowed the people on the frontlines of providing our kids with a world-class education to share their insight, which I will now take directly to the halls of the Capitol as we examine this drastic shift in curriculum. I extend my deepest thanks to all who attended these events and contributed to this important discussion. Their voices will be heard loud and clear during the upcoming legislative session.

November 19, 2013                                                                                 

Orleans County Town Hall Meetings


            I am hosting a series of town hall meetings across Orleans County on Saturday, November 23. I will be traveling to three locations in an effort to hear the needs, ideas and concerns of different neighborhoods and regions within the 139th Assembly District.

            The best way to build a truly representative government is for elected officials to directly connect with local residents. These town halls provide a great opportunity for members of the community to make their voices heard so I can fight for our needs and concerns in state government. I look forward to a series of productive events and discussing our local priorities with friends both old and new.

            Details on the events in Orleans County are as follows:


Assemblyman Steve Hawley’s Orleans County Town Hall Meetings

Saturday, November 23, 2013


9:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Barre Town Hall
14317 West Barre Road

10:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Clarendon Town Hall
16385 Church Street

11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Gaines Town Hall
14087 Ridge Road

            For more information, contact Hawley’s district office at (585) 589-5780 or email [email protected].

November 15, 2013                                                                                 


Online applications available for first time

            I am encouraging local residents to explore the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) when it opens on Monday, November 18. HEAP is a federally-funded program that provides up to $650 for eligible households to pay for energy costs to keep their homes warm during the winter. Online applications for regular HEAP benefits are available to residents outside of New York City for the first time this year.

            HEAP is a critical program that helps ensure our families aren’t choosing between a hot meal and a warm home during these cold, winter months. It’s hard enough to contend with New York’s high cost of living without the added expense of heating a home. This is a valuable program that is worth looking into for those struggling with energy expenses in the coming months.

            For the 2013-14 HEAP heating season, the maximum regular benefit a household could receive is $650. Eligibility for HEAP is based on income and household size. For more information about HEAP benefits, please visit the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) website at, or go to


November 12, 2013                                                                                  



Stretch of road to be dubbed Genesee and Orleans Veterans' Memorial Highway

            A Bill I sponsored to create the “Genesee and Orleans Veterans' Memorial Highway” has been signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The legislation renames the stretch of State Route 98 from the border of Genesee and Wyoming counties to the intersection with Lake Ontario State Parkway in Orleans County in an effort to recognize the sacrifice made by our courageous military heroes. Senators Michael Ranzenhofer and George Maziarz carried the legislation in the Senate.

            It is our duty as Americans to honor our heroic veterans and express our gratitude whenever possible. Creating the Genesee and Orleans Veterans' Memorial Highway is another token of our appreciation for the sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed services. I’m proud to have authored this legislation along with Senators Michael Ranzenhofer and George Maziarz, and I thank my colleagues in state government for joining our effort to salute our nation’s veterans.

            “This new designation for Route 98 is a fitting tribute and honor to the many men and women from Genesee and Orleans Counties who have served in the military and in our nation's conflicts over the years. The Genesee and Orleans Veterans' Memorial Highway is a statement of appreciation for the contributions they have made to protect our freedoms," said Senator Mike Ranzenhofer.

            Senator George D. Maziarz (R-C, Newfane) said, “As we celebrate Veterans Day, this is one small way to say thank you to the men and women of our region who have defended our nation over the years. We owe these veterans a great deal, and this signage will represent another official means of expressing our gratitude.”


November 7, 2013                                                                                  


Roadtrip Nation at L.A. Webber Middle-High School

Roadtrip Nation is an organization that helps students connect the dots between their personal interests and real world opportunities. Through the program, students see firsthand how what they learn in the classroom today can become a future career.  The organization received $1 million from AT&T and the AT&T Foundation earlier this year to produce a mobile-friendly curriculum that helps students at risk of dropping out of high school connect their studies and interests to real-world opportunities.  With this new funding Roadtrip Nation will extend its program offerings to 10,000 students in six states, including in Lyndonville, New York. 

On Wednesday, November 6 from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m., Roadtrip Nation hosted a live engagement event at L.A. Webber Middle-High School. This kickoff event brought career exploration to life for the students.  I was honored to serve as guest speaker, sharing firsthand my account on how education played a pivotal role in my professional achievements.  The engagement event also included interactive activities all with the goal to get students excited and engaged.

“The Roadtrip Nation Experience motivates students to find and then follow their own passions in life,” said Beth Adcock Shiroishi, Vice President of Sustainability and Philanthropy, AT&T. “By bringing the real world into the classroom and connecting the dots between students’ personal interests and potential careers, we hope to show the relevance of learning and further combat forces that drive students to dropout.”


November 6, 2013                                                                                  



 petition to protect taxpayers

            I am urging the State Assembly to pass legislation that will prevent ongoing taxpayer abuse while preserving $120 million in funding for struggling families, and I have created an online petition to provide a public forum for residents to voice their support. The Public Assistance Integrity Act, passed by the Senate and co-sponsored in the Assembly by me, would prohibit EBT cards from being used to purchase non-essential items like cigarettes, liquor and lottery tickets. If the Assembly fails to act by February 2014, the federal government will penalize New York by cutting federal funding for Cash Assistance by five percent ($120 million). I have launched an online petition to drum up support for the bill, echoing an effort by Senator Michael Ranzenhofer to turn up the heat on the legislature.

            Taxpayers are being forced to subsidize illicit activities through a deficiency in the public assistance system. Hard-earned tax dollars are being misappropriated, making it harder for families truly in need of help to access support, and if the Assembly doesn’t pass the Public Assistance Integrity Act soon, those resources will become even scarcer. This common-sense legislation has been held in committee even though it has widespread bipartisan support. I hope this petition will spur the Assembly to take action as soon as we reconvene to bring an end to this blatant abuse of taxpayers.

            My petition can be accessed on the front page of my official Assembly website or by visiting

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