Steve Hawley

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published News 2013-01-28 16:32:15 -0500

News

August 21, 2019
Contact: Steve Hawley
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november 11, 2020                                                                                                   

REMEMBRANCE ON VETERANS DAY

A Column from the Desk of Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia)

            As another year passes, with just as many challenges (or certainly more so) as in years previous, we arrive at yet another Veterans Day. Like many federal holidays or days of remembrance, it may sometimes be easy for us to forget why we have days like this dedicated in the first place. Between the large-scale issues that face us today and the minutia of our lives, we can easily forget why we celebrate as we do. Veterans Day is here to remind us why.

            To serve one’s country on the battlefield is one of the most selfless things a person can do. Our nation has a proud history of innumerable servicemen and women giving themselves to the country, to ensure our safety and security, and to protect the prosperity in our country today. That sacrifice cannot be understated.

            As veterans, our soldiers, sailors and airmen and women alike all face unique challenges when leaving service or retiring. What these folks see and do would shock even the most accomplished individuals. There’s truly nothing like the work our veterans do; that’s why we dedicate this day to honoring and remembering them. It’s not just a day for department stores to get rid of some over-stocked goods or a day to throw  a fun parade for the town. The true essence of Veterans Day is about showing reverence and thanks to those who have given it all so  we can have it all. Remember their sacrifices today, and remember to thank a veteran when you see one. God bless America.

november 4, 2020                                                                                                   

THANK YOU

A Column from the Desk of Assemblyman Steve Hawley

               I am drafting this letter to thank each and every person that voted for me. This tenure as your State Assemblyman for the 139th district has been a wonderful experience, and I am proud to continue to serve as your Assemblyman.

            And while there is certainly celebrating to do and thanks to go around, I want to assure you that as the new session starts up in January, I am just as committed as ever to making the voice of Western New York heard.

            I will continue to fight for local and small businesses that need support from the state following the COVID-19 lockdowns, for their economic success means a strong economy for New York. I will continue to hold the majority party accountable when they try to play fast-and-loose with the laws and the God-given rights of citizens. I will push even further my two-state New York bill, which will ensure that the needs of Western New York are not drowned by the urban demands downstate thrusts upon the rest of us. I will continue to ensure our law enforcement is defended and uplifted in state government. All of this, and more, I will continue to do.

            And I will continue to give my time to you all, to ensure you have the support you need from your state government. Because of you, I am continuing to fight for you. Thank you. 


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October 19, 2020                                                                                                    

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October 14, 2020                                                                                                    

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October 5, 2020                                                                                                     

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September 30, 2020                                                                                               

WheN the Governor Put NY on Pause, We CONTINUED Working

This year has presented our state with some exceptional challenges. We faced the usual from our state – bad policies touted by downstate politicians who squander state resources, all while rewarding those who refuse to obey our laws. I hate to say it, but it was business as usual in New York State, and then the Coronavirus pandemic hit.

The governor consistently exceeded his statutory and constitutional authority. Even as he forced a pause on most of the state’s private sector, our work in the Legislature did not stop.  Many of our neighbors were suffering from job and income loss, needless deaths of their elderly loved ones and a total disruption to their normal lives. We did everything we could to help them navigate a flawed system.

I am proud of the leadership and cohesive advocacy our Conference and I offered during these times of uncertainty for the residents of New York. Some were successful and some fell on deaf ears:

·         Removing unilateral “emergency” power from the governor to reinstate powers of the Legislature as an equal branch of the government (June 18);

·         Accountability in the Department of Labor for the system’s failure to respond to the needs of hundreds of thousands of unemployed New Yorkers during the lockdown (May 7);

·         Proper investigation into the many needless deaths of seniors in nursing homes throughout the state (May 11);

·         Expanded broadband in all communities, especially in rural parts of the state, as it’s a utility imperative to keeping workers, students and loved ones connected while living, learning and working from home (May 8);

·         Quality education, care and support for New Yorkers with developmental or physical disabilities (May 14);

·         Spiritual and mental health by safely reopening houses of worship (May 8);

·         Guidance to be issued for non-public schools when they were initially left out of the governor’s reopening plan of schools (July 24);

·         Reopening of public libraries to ensure access to broadband internet and learning materials (May 11);

·         Safe, socially-distanced high school graduations (June 4);

·         Reinstatement of dental care (May 14);

·         Safely reopen recreational and health businesses and venues such as golf courses, boat launches and public parks (April 16); bowling alleys (June 8); and gyms (June 26). Getting people moving and in healthy activities is not only important for physical health, but also mental and economic health;

·         Early reopening of the 400,000 job construction industry to help recharge our state economy (May 20);

·         Release of promised $743 million state aid for local highways, bridges and other roadways (June 4);

·         Emergency considerations to help family farms, fighting for state and federal aid (April 15) and opposition to any ban on widely used farming techniques such as the use of glyphosate (July 29);

·         Delay in deciding potentially job- and farm-killing policies into 2022, so New York’s agriculture industry is able to recover and the state may collect farm labor data under normal circumstances (August 7);

·         Reopening of the gaming industry to ensure communities where casinos and VLTs are an integrated part of the economy may recover (September 1); and

·         Caution when resorting to state issuance of debt during this time of the pandemic and recovery (April 27).

Our state is diverse in its people, diverse in its political and economic landscape and especially diverse in its needs. However, the pandemic highlighted how important we are to one another and that no one person can adequately meet the needs of us all. That is the beauty of three co-equal branches of government. Now more than ever, we need officials who will work together and cooperate with each other.

September 24, 2020                                                                                               

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September 21, 2020                                                                                               

HAWLEY CALLS FOR MORE SUPPORT FOR VETERANS

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Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) (center) joins veterans and his Assembly Republican Colleagues who have also served in the military to urge for a focus on passing legislation to help veterans.

               Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) joined his Assembly Republican Colleagues in Syracuse to call for action on a number of legislative items focused on veterans to help support the lives of these men and women and their families. A veteran himself, the Assemblyman proudly serves on the Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs, but points to the lack of veteran representation on the committee as a hindrance to passing meaningful legislation.

“I am proud of my record on veterans’ issues and am so honored to work on behalf of our military men and women and their families. Despite intransigence from the majority in the Assembly, we still achieved important measures, like the expansion of scholarships for Gold Star families, approval of a study on veteran homelessness and more,” said Hawley. “We have much more to work on, but I look forward to a day when there are more veterans serving alongside me in the Assembly. The leadership and character instilled in our service men and women would be a welcome addition to our chambers.”

In the past two years, Hawley helped achieve a number of items for veterans:

  • Expanded scholarships for Gold Star families (A.2991, Higher Education, 4.9.2019; Executive Order 4.19.2019);
  • Approval of tax exemptions to help injured or disabled veterans to refit their homes to increase mobility (A.7289);
  • Authorization  of a study on homeless veterans to better provide support (A.5660); and
  • Required the state to closely examine veteran health issues, including PTSD and traumatic brain injuries (A.1804).

Hawley continues to fight for:

  • A veterans clearinghouse to better connect veterans to needed services (A.4395);
  • The “Veteran Owned Business Enterprise Act” to help veteran entrepreneurs (A.4490);
  • Honoring military experience as civil work experience by increasing civil (A.5535) and education credits (A.7999); and
  • Veterans’ health by tracking a list of toxins military personnel are exposed to (A.6421) and requiring coroners to report suicides of veterans and active military personnel (A.38934).

Hawley served seven years in the Ohio Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserves, earning the rank of first lieutenant. 30 percent of the Assembly Republican conference is comprised of veterans, and the Assemblyman wishes to increase this number.

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September 10, 2020                                                                                               

HAWLEY CONSTITUENTS CALLING FOR ORDER OVER LAWLESSNESS

               Earlier this year, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) issued his annual survey to his constituents as a way to gather input from the residents of his district. One of the main concerns was public safety.

“My constituents share my concern that the policies passed by downstate liberal legislators and signed by the governor are making our state and communities less safe,” said Hawley. “Since the beginning of the year, residents have been contending with criminals emboldened by so-called bail reform. In case after case we have seen violent thugs, drug dealers and known abusers released right back to our streets to victimize innocent New Yorkers. It’s simple – law-abiding New Yorkers must be prioritized over those who continue to break our laws and hurt other people.”

Western New York residents in Hawley’s district responded to a number of items:

  • Overwhelmingly, 93 percent of survey respondents oppose bail reforms, which have released criminals accused of violent and abhorrent crimes;
  • Nearly 88 percent  oppose the policy  allowing undocumented individuals to obtain a license;
  • Additionally, they oppose efforts to allow undocumented immigrants to vote in New York elections by 97 percent and also oppose by 87 percent giving convicted felons the right to vote; and
  • Hawley’s “Two New Yorks” solution (A.1687) is supported by 81 percent of respondents.

Hawley staunchly opposed the dangerous bail reform, which has wreaked havoc in communities and created headaches and burdens for law enforcement and courts. He continues to fight against the expansion of rights for lawbreakers.

While New York City lawmakers have been working to increase the rights of criminals, Hawley has spent his time supporting crime victims. He voted to make it easier to report domestic violence incidents (A.4467-A, Chapter 152), provide transportation for sexual assault victims to a healthcare facility (S.3966-A, Chapter 737) and protect the addresses of victims of human trafficking, sexual offenses and stalking (S.5444, Chapter 141).

Spetember 4, 2020                                                                                                  

HAWLEY REQUESTS REOPENING OF GAMING SITES IN NY

               Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has sent a letter to Gov. Cuomo requesting the state allow casinos, VLT gaming facilities and racetracks to open while following proper social distancing and COVID-protection protocol. Hawley points out how other ventures have been allowed to open that often draw more risk in enclosed spaces compared to casinos, despite not bringing in the same revenue the state desperately needs to pick itself up.

            “With the economy continuing to struggle, I see the unwillingness to allow casinos and other gaming ventures to open and follow appropriate protocol as nothing but hindering the state’s further economic recovery,” Hawley said. “New York is losing millions in tax revenue by making this decision, not to mention keeping a sizeable job market from opening in the rural areas of the state that could use support at this time. We need to open these casinos, gaming sites and racetracks now.”

            If you or someone you know struggles with a gambling addiction, know that you’re not alone, and you don’t have to fight it alone. For help and resources on how to combat gambling addiction, visit https://oasas.ny.gov/problem-gambling.


HAWLEY ADVOCATES FOR SUPPORT OF FARMERS’ ECONOMICS DURING VIRTUAL TESTIMONY

               Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) recently testified in a virtual Zoom New York State Department of Labor public hearing regarding an upcoming decision on resetting the overtime threshold for farm laborers. Concerned with the rashness of the actions attempted to be taken on this issue, during a pandemic, Hawley suggested that a delay in the decision-making would be most advantageous for farmers and their farms, and that the state should be doing as little as possible to interfere with their already modest margins.

            “As someone with farming experience myself, I can tell you that however well-intentioned the lowering of the overtime threshold is for the farm workers, the actual farm employers themselves won’t be able to sustain these changes; certainly not in the economic world we’re living in right now,” Hawley said. “The last thing New York needs to be looking to do is strangle our farms and our farmers into submission.”

            Hawley said during his testimony on Monday, “Why would we want to increase costs for our agricultural producers, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic economic calamity? Workers are considered family; average wages are $13/hour. In many cases, housing and food are provided. Even during good economic times, implementing mandatory increased labor costs for agriculture is a bad idea. Farmers have little to no control over prices they receive for their product, and with variations in factors like weather, long hours are necessary.”

            In a closing note, Hawley said, “ We need to protect New York state’s number one industry: Agriculture. [We should] delay the implementation of lowering the Overtime threshold.”

August 18, 2020                                                                                                      

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SUFFRAGETTES IN NEW YORK

A Column from the Desk of Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia)

            Hearing stories of the suffragette movement at the turn of the 20th Century and seeing it remembered all these years later is both incredibly important and gratifying to me. And it’s more than just the fact that the promise of America – where every citizen has a say in the direction of the country – was one step closer to being fulfilled at that time (but that is incredibly important). My personal connection to this movement comes from the fact that my great aunt, Ella Hawley Crosset of Wyoming County, was an integral part of the movement. Her example has helped guide me throughout my life.

            Taking a look back at the era that these suffragettes were living in, there’s no doubt that they were in the fight for their lives in many cases. Political and social pressure undoubtedly kept pushing these brave women back, pressuring them to give up their cause. Despite the trials and tribulations, women continued to push back for a seat at the table. They galvanized Albany legislators to push for further constitutional changes that had already been started in states lying to the west, and New York was the driving force to make Congress hear these women and grant them their wishes.

            Today, my great aunt’s name is listed on the plaque in the Capitol on the first floor as you enter from State Street. Her name is listed alongside other notable women of history and suffragettes, including Susan B. Anthony. To know that members of my family have been fighting throughout our history to ensure that freedoms and liberties are granted to all citizens fills me with a lot of pride, and makes me honored to continue their legacy. We should all look back to their example of fighting for rights and liberties to help us decide how we act today.


HAWLEY CELEBRATES RE-OPENING OF BOWLING ALLEYS

                Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is celebrating the state’s decision to allow local bowling alleys to re-open at 50 percent capacity this upcoming Monday. All bowling alleys will be able to start up with food being served by wait staff, ensuring that local economies receive the boost in revenue they need while also allowing locals to get in some exercise and play after being cooped up inside for so long.

            “I’m thrilled to hear that progress continues to be made with the re-opening of the state,” Hawley said. “I had written a letter some time ago to the governor asking for bowling alleys to be opened as soon as possible for the sake of local economies alongside the service they provide citizens in stretching their legs and having some light fun. Our conference had then sent another letter requesting much of the same. It’s good to hear that the governor is hearing us and taking into account the steps needed to ensure that people are protected and remain healthy during this continually challenging time.”

August 10, 2020                                                                                                      

HAWLEY SLAMS POLITICALLY-BASED LAWSUIT AGAINST NRA

               Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is denouncing the recently-revealed efforts of New York State Attorney General Leticia James, who is seeking to dissolve the National Rifle Association (NRA) in a lawsuit that points fingers at the leadership for not following non-profit guidelines. Hawley calls the move a “callous and politically-charged attempt to sow dissent during an already tumultuous election year.”

            “The NRA has been a valuable ally for Americans wishing to have their 2nd Amendment rights preserved, and it’s why state leadership is so afraid of them and so desperate to have them gone,” Hawley said. “The nature and timing of this lawsuit are so clearly politically-motivated that I’m flabbergasted the Supreme Court would even take on such a case. This case doesn’t seek justice; it seeks to upend justice and further strangle Americans’ God-given rights and liberties.”

            The suit currently claims to be looking at civil violations as opposed to a criminal case, but the attorney general is not ruling out that a criminal case may come about in the future. Meanwhile, Hawley continues to fight for the rights and liberties of Americans in the Assembly, and he will be working to ensure that whatever the outcome, honest citizens are not restricted by excessive governmental oversight.

July 28, 2020                                                                                                           

HAWLEY CELEBRATES ASSEMBLY PASSAGE OF BILLS HONORING WESTERN NEW YORKERS 

               Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is celebrating the recent passage of two bills that have renamed highways in Genesee and Orleans counties for citizens of the region. The Genesee Bill (A.8900B) designates State Route 77 between Pembroke Town Park and the intersection of Indian Falls Road in the town of Pembroke, county of Genesee, as the "SP4 C. Jay Hall Memorial Highway," and the Orleans Bill (A.9639) designates the highway system constituting State Route 31 from the intersection of State Route 31 and transit road to the intersection of State Route 31 and Wood Road, in the town of Albion, Orleans county as the "Charles W. Howard Memorial Highway."

            “I’m proud that the Assembly passed these bills to help us recognize the men of our community so they will be remembered now and forevermore,” Hawley said. “It’s times like these that remind me why I continue to work in state government; to give back to the community in any way I can.”

July 27, 2020                                                                                                           

HAWLEY SLAMS BILLS PASSED BY DOWNSTATE ASSEMBLY MEMBERS

               Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is calling out his state Assembly colleagues for allowing atrocious bills to be passed in the state Legislature late last night. Among them is automatic voter registration, which automatically registers New Yorkers to vote whenever they interact with what are determined as ‘qualified’ government agencies like the DMV or Department of Health.

            “I’m all for ensuring we participate in our democratic society to the fullest; that’s the only way democratic societies can work,” Hawley said. “But what was done last night is simply a step too far. Superseding the state constitution and writing far-reaching bills, with few checks and balances to ensure they cannot be taken advantage of leads me to believe this will cripple the voting system more than uplift it. Well intended or otherwise, the downstate legislators need to realize they’ve just opened up a can of worms that will not yield good results.”

            In addition to that, the state Legislature passed a redistricting bill that would amend the state constitution and allow for further redistricting in the state. The move comes in a suspected effort on the part of the majority to draw new districts that would be politically advantageous to them.

            “It’s a gross misstep in the use of authority and Majority power, and will almost certainly mean that many voices are at risk of being unheard in the future,” Hawley said. “There really is nothing more disgraceful in politics than trying to uphold your own power and keep the people in the dark.”

            Furthermore, the Assembly Majority continues its grip on its monopoly of power by refusing to remove the governor’s emergency powers that he claimed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York. With these powers, he’s continued to hamper businesses like bars and prevent them from reopening and supporting the economy. He insists that people order food while ordering alcohol but claims that chicken wings are not substantial food for bars. He added that sandwiches were the "lowest level" of substantive food. 

            “Chicken wings are a Western New York food, so this feels incredibly personal to me and my constituents,” Hawley said. “We all know the governor’s ‘Big Brother’ method of governance and one-size-fits-all solutions are his modus operandi, but at a time where people are trying to responsibly reopen and follow health codes as they have been instructed, the governor and his administration continue to curtail the attempts of honest workers getting back to a normal routine. It’s despicable.”

July 8, 2020                                                                                                              

HAWLEY CALLS FOR SCHOOLS TO REOPEN IN FALL

                Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has signed on with Assembly colleagues to present a reopening plan for schools this upcoming fall. The plan, signed on by nearly all Minority members of the State Assembly, explores potential solutions for each level of education, as well as special education needs, and re-emphasizes that in-person education and social interactions are critical for the developing youth, according to child development experts.

            “We’ve all been struggling with the new realities that the COVID-19 outbreak has given us, and our kids are no exception,” Hawley said. “They’ve been asked to completely adjust the way they go about learning, and in the process have lost many opportunities that are fundamental to youth development. The brilliant educators across our state are doing the best they can, and we couldn’t be prouder of them, but we need to give them and their students a fighting chance to not fall drastically behind.”

            The question of schools reopening in New York has been up in the air since they were closed in mid-March. Gov. Cuomo’s administration has stressed public health comes first, but several advocates and prolific education specialists have been pushing for schools to return in the fall with appropriate safeguards in place. Not only are many students and teachers struggling with this particular change in lifestyle, but the lack of students being in the school physically has left many teachers unable to reach them at home. Many students across the state still struggle to get internet-accessible devices to do their work, or do not have another trusted adult figure to work with consistently. Additionally, many homes have a parent or parents working without adequate child care.


HAWLEY QUESTIONS GOVERNOR FOR SELF-INVESTIGATION WAIVING RESPONSIBILITY OF NURSING HOME COVID DEATHS

                Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is firing off at Gov. Cuomo after a recent report stated that the governor’s administration  is continuing to dismiss any attempt to hold it accountable for the nursing home deaths following the acceptance of COVID-positive patients into those communities. When the state first formally responded to the COVID outbreak back in March, the administration had COVID-positive patients sent to nursing homes once conventional beds were unavailable in hospitals; this put COVID-positive patients in close vicinity to our most vulnerable population, the elderly, without increasing health precautions in these facilities.

            “I am absolutely flabbergasted that the Cuomo administration is continuing to dodge responsibility for a clear mistake made on his part,” Hawley said. “He was the one with the executive powers calling the shots since this whole ordeal started. He was the one who made it clear that the elderly were most at risk. He was the one who put the elderly at risk all across the state. The Governor and his team cannot escape the reality that the loss of life in these nursing homes is on them, and them alone.”

July 7, 2020                                                                                                              

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July 6, 2020                                                                                                              

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July 4, 2020                                                                                                              

INDEPENDENCE DAY, 244 YEARS LATER

A Column from the Desk of Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia)

                “The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

            That quote comes from a letter written by one of America’s founding fathers, John Adams, to his wife, Abigail. It’s a powerful comment, and filled with a good amount of foresight (a skill that President Adams developed throughout his life), but it is just slightly off from the reality today. Back in 1776, the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence on July 2, thus beginning the domino effect by legally separating the thirteen original colonies from Great Britain. But Americans have always clung to July 4 as our Independence Day; not because President Adams is incorrect in the facts as they were, but because the fourth was when the Declaration of Independence, penned by Thomas Jefferson, was signed and approved by that same congressional body.

            Why is this trip through time important, you may ask? For one thing, I find it kind of amusing that even back then, holidays were so revered by government officials. Maybe it was a statement from Adams on how a good politician is one that is distracted and not so involved in the lives of the people. But it’s more likely that President Adams recognized the profound impact such a unified act of revolution would have on not only the lives of its citizens, but also the world around it. Considering how forward-thinking the man was, I’m inclined to believe in the latter.        

            The men who laid the foundation for our way of life today absolutely deserve celebration and reverence, if not every day, then today especially. But, with every passing year, and with the progress and growth our nation goes through, those same men making those same decisions come into question and under scrutiny. This year more than any other, I find myself reflecting on what 244 years of fighting for independence, for liberty and for freedom does for us as a people, as a nation and as a world. And during this time, I wanted to share my thoughts with you on what I feel like these 244 years have done for us all.

            It’ll be no surprise to my friends and family that I revere and love my country, and all it has given me and every other citizen. The ability for a people to self-govern and organize based on each community’s wants and needs, while still upholding the standards of democracy and liberty for their neighbors is a worthwhile quality any nation worth its salt should be striving toward. As a matter of fact, whenever I’ve approached policy being debated or voted on, I’ve always kept the Founding Fathers and their unifying principles of liberty as my guiding star when making decisions. I trust it’s what every American wants.       

            But in today’s climate, one can’t really look back as fondly as one might have not even ten years ago. Through the work of historians, activists and my fellow representatives, we are reminded day after day that despite the good work done by those who have come before, there is always more work to do. Bodies of government need to act more diligently in the best interest of their citizens, representatives and peacekeepers need to work alongside their communities more harmoniously, and the written law still has some ways to go before providing true tranquility and equality for all peoples. Yes, America has come very far and laid the groundwork for a whirlwind of progress across the world, but progress never stops.

            I’m proud of the progress this country has made. I’m proud of the progress this country continues to make. I’m proud to serve as a representative for the 139th District, to follow in the footsteps of the great men who came before us and to continue to fight for the freedoms and liberties of the citizens of this great country. This Independence Day, I encourage you to reflect on what it took to get us here, and thank those who fought for every freedom and liberty that you have today. And on a closing note, take a moment to think about what still needs to be fought for today. There may be a person 200 years down the road thanking you for the same thing you’re thanking the Founding Fathers for today.

June 30, 2020                                                                                                              

HAWLEY ANNOUNCES RESTOCK OF HAND SANITIZER FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES

                Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) announced today that his district office is continuing to distribute hand sanitizer to local businesses in need. Hawley has confirmed the sanitizer comes by the gallon or in 2 ounce bottles for employee and employer use. This initiative is part of a continued effort to assist local businesses with keeping up their health standards in conjunction with CDC and Department of Health regulations following the COVID-19 outbreak in New York.

            “I’m happy to help the community any way I can, and while this gesture is small, I know it goes a long way,” Hawley said. “This is just one of the ways I’m showing the rest of the state that we can uphold health standards on our own while reopening the economy and supporting our communities at the same time.”

            Hawley and his district office are also working on acquiring more face masks for personal and business use. Anyone looking to acquire hand sanitizer in the future may reach out to Hawley’s district office to coordinate a pick-up. Anyone looking to acquire masks may reach out to their county EMO office.


HAWLEY ANNOUNCES RESURFACING PROJECT FOR ROUTE 237 IN VILLAGE OF HOLLEY

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Pictured Above: Project Map of Maintenance Resurfacing Project

                Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) announced today, in partnership with the New York State Department of Transportation, that a maintenance resurfacing project for Route 237 will commence in Spring 2021 and be completed in the Fall of the same year. The route repair, which is within the Village of Holley, is going to be coordinated to follow the village’s sidewalk reconstruction and waterline improvements project, which is projected to be completed in 2020.

            “I am glad to see our tax dollars doing good work for our communities, as the improvement and maintenance of roads is something I think we can all appreciate,” Hawley said. “The men and women of the NYSDOT are hard-working and dedicated, and I look forward to seeing the fruits of their labor by the end of 2021.”

This project will improve the existing pavement condition through milling and resurfacing Route 237 from the south village line to the Erie Canal Bridge, just north of the village.  The project also includes new pavement markings and new signs.  In addition, extra signage will be installed to advise truck drivers of the low clearance at the railroad bridge.

As part of this project, the pavement markings on Route 237 will be modified from South Holley Road to Geddes Street and from Route 31 to the north village line to provide two (2) - 15’ travel lanes with no provision for parking.  The existing pavement markings and on-street parking will remain from Geddes Street to Route 31.  This striping change was done in consultation with local village officials to address safety concerns and to better provide on-street bicycle accommodations.

Route 237 will remain open to traffic during construction with a minimum of one (1) lane of traffic maintained in each direction.  Short term daily lane closures will be utilized during paving operations.  Drivers will be informed of construction work areas with variable message boards and temporary work zone traffic control signs.

If you have any questions, please contact Joshua Brasacchio, Project Design Engineer at (585) 371-9246 or by e-mail at joshua.brasacchio@dot.ny.gov.

June 26, 2020                                                                                                              

HAWLEY CELEBRATES RE-OPENING OF BRIDGES

                Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is joining the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT)  in celebrating the re-opening of two local bridges that have been closed off to traffic for the better part of a year: the Telegraph Road Bridge over the Erie Canal, and the Bates Road Bridge, also over the Erie Canal. While there will still be some work to be done on both bridges, the NYSDOT has assured it will not affect traffic.

            “The coordination and dedication of those workers to restore the bridges for modern traffic is both commendable and admirable,” Hawley said. “I am just as excited as the next person to finally have this construction done and have these roadways open to us again.”

            The Telegraph Road Bridge has been closed since August 5, 2019 for steel repairs under D263668 – Rehabilitation of 7 Bridges over the Erie Canal in Orleans County. The Bates Road Bridge has been closed since November 8, 2019 for the same reason. The former will have minor final touches being completed by the construction crew but traffic will be able to flow through; the latter will have open traffic flow, but continue to have a construction crew presence in order to install sidewalk grating. Both bridges will be open to vehicular traffic by the end of the day on Saturday, June 27, 2020.

June 23, 2020                                                                                                              

HAWLEY ANNOUNCES DELAY OF 13th ANNUAL PATRIOT TRIP TO WASHINGTON, D.C.hawley_patriot_trip_Vietnam_2018.jpg

Assemblyman Steve Hawley [right of wreath] poses for a photo with Assemblyman Michael DenDekker [left of wreath] and veterans in front of the Vietnam War Memorial during 2018’s Patriot Trip to Washington D.C.

            Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) announced today that his annual Patriot Trip to Washington D.C. will unfortunately be postponed this year in the wake of the COVID-19 virus’ presence in America.

            The intent behind this postponement is to protect our veterans who were interested in traveling to Washington, D.C. With all that is known about COVID-19, it was decided that 52 men and women on a bus traveling across various state lines where health regulations could vary radically, and would not be in the best interest of veterans.

            Hawley, who has served on the Assembly Veterans’ Affairs Committee since 2006, was just as disappointed about the decision, but understands this temporary pause is in the best interest of the continued well-being of the veterans of our community.

            “The Patriot Trip is the highlight of every year,” Hawley said. “This trip was inspired by Mike Paduchak, a World War II veteran, who asked me to come together with local veterans and host a trip to Washington D.C. Through the experiences of my father, veterans I have met during previous year’s trips, and my own service in the military, I have gained a tremendous understanding and admiration for the sacrifices endured by our veterans. I haven’t missed a trip for 12 years, and I wouldn’t miss it this year were it not for the risks. I am willing to postpone this year’s trip to ensure all of my friends I’ve made through the trip will be healthy to travel next year. And as for next year, I hope to see as many veterans as possible turn out for the tentative trip date of September 16-19, 2021.”


THE SENATE IS STRONGER WITH ROBERT ORTT AS MINORITY LEADER

                I’ve had the distinct pleasure of working with numerous individuals throughout my time as a state legislator, and I’m grateful for the time I’ve had with each of them. However, there is one man I want to take a moment to recognize for our unique working relationship, and congratulate him on his recent successes. Following the selection of my colleague Sen. Robert Ortt as Senate Minority Leader, I’d like to share some words of congratulations and reminisce on my time working with him.

            Sen. Ortt and I come from the same region of Western New York, and we both share Orleans County in our districts, which means we’ve had a lot of face time over the years.  He’s a hardworking, dedicated individual, who truly understands what it means to be the voice of the people he’s representing. He knows how to fight for what he believes in, and he knows how to stay connected with constituents. In modern politics, it can be easy to feel disconnected from senators, but I’ve always been impressed with Sen. Ortt’s ability to never lose sight of where he comes from.

            Being an Afghanistan War veteran, Sen. Ortt knows about hard work. It’s because of that work ethic that he’s been so successful for his region of Orleans County and all of New York. It’s why I’m equally as excited to see him in such a position of leadership, as with it comes the knowledge that Orleans County, and by extension Western New York, will benefit from the continued and combined momentum from his work and my own.

            I know that, with Sen. Ortt at the helm, policy can be strongly redirected toward initiatives that are so pressing, particularly in the wake of COVID-19, such as business relief and small town support. I am pleased to continue working with you, Senator!

June 22, 2020                                                                                                              

HAWLEY CALLS FOR CAUTION DURING DEPARTMENT OF LABOR SCAM CASES

                Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is aware of the recent string of fraud cases that have developed in the wake of an overwhelmed New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) doing what it can to assist as many people as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused a significant number of people to lose their jobs. The scam stems from evidence that individuals throughout Western New York have received letters concerning unemployment benefits from the NYSDOL, despite never having sought unemployment claims at all. Hawley is urging everyone to remain vigilant and responsible during this time.

            “I have my reservations when it comes to government agencies operating efficiently,” Hawley said. “I am coordinating with the NYSDOL to ensure those who need legitimate support receive it, and those who are falling victim to these identity thieves know what steps to take to set things right.”

            NYSDOL is still developing a comprehensive set of instructions that it will make public for those wondering what steps to take should they receive such a letter. Until that time, Hawley is encouraging all citizens to stay vigilant, monitor their mail, and should they notice anything suspicious coming from the NYSDOL in the mail (particularly when they have not claimed unemployment), they should report it to the Fraud Department by calling toll-free at (888) 598-2077, or visiting https://labor.ny.gov/secure/fraud/report-fraud.shtm . Citizens are also encouraged to email the FBI branch in Buffalo if they have received a letter or related debit card contact at: rochester.bf@fbi.gov or call the number of the New York State Police Troop A Headquarters at (585) 344-6200.

June 8, 2020                                                                                                                

HAWLEY CALLS FOR GRADUATIONS TO BE IN-PERSON

               Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is calling on his fellow Assembly members to allow high school students to graduate in-person alongside their peers, as opposed to the governor’s plan for a drive-thru graduation, which Hawley calls “just one of the many gross misuses of executive power during the coronavirus crisis.” Hawley argues that while solutions could have been discussed in the public setting and agreed upon by individuals, the governor has once again moved for a one-size-fits-all solution, which has been the greatest detractor of moving forward since this outbreak began.

            “There exist plenty of solutions to holding a healthy and safe ceremony for our graduating high school classes, and I’m just as frustrated as the students are that the governor has once again decided to make a unilateral decision for an issue that can easily be brought into the public forum,” Hawley said. “With graduations oftentimes taking place outside, the social distancing parameters could have easily been met, which would not only satisfy the health-conscious concerns of the executive, but given the graduating students the send-off they deserve. It’s no small feat to complete 12 years of education, and these students deserve to have their time, energy, and success recognized and celebrated along with their peers and families.”


HAWLEY CALLS ON GOVERNOR TO HALT BAIL REFORM LAWS DURING RIOTS

               Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has called on Gov. Cuomo to consider changing his position on bail reform in the wake of mass looting and riots following the tragic murder of Mr. George Floyd in Minneapolis. Hawley’s first and foremost goal is to ensure law-abiding citizens have their livelihoods protected during this period when bad actors are taking advantage of thinly-stretched law enforcement and the chaos that has ensued.

            “As someone who truly believes in the power of the U.S. Constitution and the rights it affords its citizens, I want to make it clear that any peaceful protestor has my full support; that is their right as an American,” Hawley said. “What we are seeing is a large sect of criminals taking advantage of this situation for their own selfish gains to abuse the situation and sow seeds of anarchy and dissent, and they must be held accountable for their actions.”

            “I am calling on Gov. Cuomo to consider a more aggressive and punitive response to these looters and rioters who are causing the destruction of our state,” Hawley said. “Because of current bail reform laws, these criminals are arrested and then immediately released back on the streets to continue their unlawful behavior. I appreciate our law enforcement who are working to contain these looters and rioters, and restoring peace and order. However, these officers are handicapped by the bail reform laws, as they create a continuous cycle where these criminals get arrested and released again and again. That needs to change during this period of unrest.”

May 29, 2020                                                                                                              

HAWLEY VOTES ‘YES’ TO REQUIRE RESIDENTIAL HEALTH CARE FACILITIES TO BE MORE PROACTIVE IN PANDEMICS

               Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) voted ‘yes’ on a bill that proposes residential healthcare facilities be more proactive and responsible when dealing with pandemics moving forward. The regulations will be reviewed and enforced by the state Department of Health. Hawley’s ‘yes’ vote was made the night of May 27, with the bill being passed by the Assembly that same night.

            “This pandemic has taught us much; one of the unfortunate lessons we have learned is that the health and well-being of our senior citizens is sometimes squandered by unprofessional and irresponsible senior living facilities,” Hawley said. “With this bill being passed, it looks likely that the sins of yesterday committed by both the managers of these facilities and the state government through their inaction will begin to be redeemed, one step at a time.”

            Assembly Bill A10394, introduced on May 27, was drafted and developed in response to the staggering loss of life throughout senior care communities across all New York state. It determines what bodies of government can be authorized to intervene in cases where quality of life standards are not stringent enough. The bill requires the following:

  • residential health care facilities must submit an annual pandemic emergency plan to the commissioner of health
  • requires such plan to include a communication plan with families, and plans to protect staff, residents and families against infection, and
  • plans to preserve a resident's place at the facility if he or she is hospitalized.
May 18, 2020                                                                                                              

HAWLEY ASKS GOV. CUOMO TO ALLOW RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS TO OPEN EARLY

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia), has signed a letter to Gov. Cuomo asking him to reconsider allowing religious institutions to open and host services earlier than previously indicated. With Western New York leading the charge to reopen the state, Hawley understands the value these religious institutions have to the community, and how supportive it can be knowing these institutions are readily available

       “If we follow the proper procedures – adequate distancing, wearing face coverings, and remaining hygienic – I think these institutions, should they choose, ought to be able to conduct services,” Hawley said. “The good spiritual health of a community can help make this transition a lot smoother for everyone.”


 HAWLEY DEMANDS ACTION FROM GOVERNOR’S OFFICE IN NURSING HOME CRISIS

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia), has signed a letter to Gov. Cuomo asking once again for action on the state level to investigate the case of the Village of Orleans Nursing Home deaths caused by overcrowding and COVID-19 spread. After days of calling, writing letters, and drafting emails, Hawley believes now is the time Gov. Cuomo will make his true feelings known about the situation.

       “I have called the governor’s office numerous times, and my team and I have spent days sending letters asking for more formal, state-level investigations to take place, but we’ve heard nothing back so far,” Hawley said. “If Gov. Cuomo truly cares about the elderly population, as he claims on his daily ‘press briefings,’ he needs to get back to us immediately. The need for state support in this investigation is paramount to holding responsible parties accountable and stopping the spread of sickness and death in our most vulnerable population.”


THE TIME HAS COME FOR GOVERNMENT TO GET TO WORK

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

            Since the COVID-19 outbreak hit New York, I’ve been a strong proponent of keeping people safe and healthy. It’s one of the few things I agreed with our governor about. Now that the worst seems to have passed, we need to look back at what was done wrong and try to start making right what we can. The Assembly Majority makes it seem like that’s what they’re trying to do too, with their most recent virtual hearing focusing on small business advocacy and small business laws. What they fail to realize, amazingly, is that the policies put forth by their leadership and their votes are why many New Yorkers are struggling so much today.

            The Assembly Minority Conference, on the other hand, isn’t just now getting back to work. From day one, I’ve been on the phone with constituents, on the ground with aid and assistance, and working tirelessly wherever I could to help my neighbors push through this pandemic. I didn’t sit at home and blame Washington for not giving us more. I didn’t vote down legislation like the Small Business Recovery Act, which would have used the state’s $890 million reserve fund and redistributed it to struggling local businesses accompanied with zero interest recovery loans. I didn’t agree or support the one-solution-fits-all regional plan that the Majority and governor introduced at the start of this crisis, which in turn stalled state response significantly. That’s what the Majority did.

            The Majority sat by and let the state flounder during this pandemic. They gave unilateral power to the governor to make decisions for the entirety of the state with plans based around one city. With so much to do in the coming weeks, we can’t let this continue. For the good of everyone’s health, for the good of our nurses, doctors, police officers, firefighters, public service men and women, we followed the plan set forth by the Majority and governor in order to get through the worst this pandemic had to offer. We’re clearly past the worst now.

As we see positive cases subside and the state beginning to reopen, we need to make sure everything returns to the way it was, including the structure of power in the state. The governor did what was necessary to get us through that rough patch. He must now return power to the Legislature, and the Legislature need to get back on its A-game. From the Department of Labor getting better at giving out unemployment checks to the Department of Health becoming more involved in local investigations of nursing homes, there’s a lot of work to be done moving forward. We are ready to get back to work. We don’t have any interest in blaming Washington. We simply want to get results for those who matter most – the people.


HAWLEY THANKS NATIONAL GUARD FOR HELP IN FIGHTING VIRUS

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia), a former 1st Lt. in the Army National Guard, wants to ensure that the members of the armed forces, particularly the National Guard, get the thanks they deserve for the assistance they’ve given our communities during this virus crisis. It’s right to ensure healthcare workers, doctors, firefighters, police officers, and public service men and women are given the respect they’ve earned during this difficult time.

       “Everyone working on the front lines deserves our gratitude and respect, and that includes our men and women in the National Guard,” Hawley said. “I want to take the opportunity to personally thank every member of the armed forces and the National Guard for the service they’ve given during this virus outbreak, and I encourage everyone else to do the same.”

May 13, 2020                                                                                                              
HAWLEY HIGHLIGHTS INDUSTRIES REOPENING IN PHASE 1
Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today announced to residents of the Finger Lakes region, which includes Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties, what industries will be eligible for reopening after this Friday, May 15
“I’m excited that the initial road to economic recovery is underway with helping businesses and people get back to work,” Hawley said. “As we follow the safety protocols set forth, and continue to get people back into the field and working again, we can only hope things improve going forward.”
Per the state’s guidelines on what Phase 1 of reopening means, construction, manufacturing, retail (limited to curbside pickup), wholesale trade, agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting are all set to start the process of returning to normal. Because the Finger Lakes region is a prime example of boasting some of the best workers in these various industries, Hawley is pleased to see the people’s patience being rewarded. 
If there are any questions regarding the reopening process, individuals are encouraged to reach out to:  flnyf@esd.ny.gov. Furthermore, anyone looking for more information on the reopening plan can click here to learn more.

May 12, 2020                                                                                                              

HAWLEY CONFIRMS RETIREMENT FUNDS ARE SAFE

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today confirmed that the report regarding the Common Retirement Fund being diverted to balance the budget or pay bills was incorrect. Following rightful concern that individuals would begin to lose their retirement investments to a state spending spree in the efforts of curbing short-term financial struggles, Hawley wants to make it clear that no such risk is present.

       “With what seems like crisis after crisis occurring during these past many weeks, I was as concerned as the people of my district that we were headed for yet another batch of bad news,” Hawley said. “Thankfully, it appears that in this instance, the messaging was simply unclear. The $50 million is really being used as a revolving loan program with all funds being paid back. I hope people can breathe a bit easier with this clarification.”

            It is important to note that this is not the first time the Common Retirement funds are being used this way. The Comptroller’s office and the Common Retirement Fund have a long relationship with Pursuit having provided business funds for more than 1,000 qualifying New York businesses in all 62 counties to retain jobs and expand. The fund’s allocation to Pursuit redirects a large portion of the existing available loan program funds to address the COVID-19 crisis.

In regard to the initial question of funds being diverted from retirement savings, the state Comptroller’s office has confirmed that ‘…The Common Retirement Fund's investment portfolio is very diverse and consists of stocks, bonds, ETF's and even loans. The Comptroller is viewing this funding the same way it views it's other holdings, as an investment.’ For those looking for the Comptroller’s original release on the matter, click on the link here.


HAWLEY CALLS FOR RETURN TO ESTABLISHED STATE GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

Deputy Minority Leader Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today called for a return to established state government operations, processes and legislative powers. In partnership with Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay, Hawley has said the time has come for Gov. Cuomo’s emergency powers are to come to an end. This is a response to the declining number of positive cases of COVID-19 throughout the state, as well as with the reopening of the state on the horizon.

       “The emergency powers Gov. Cuomo gave himself were helpful at the time, when mitigating the spread of the virus was needed most,” Hawley said. “As we see positive cases of COVID-19 on the decline, and the reopening process begins to commence, it’s also time for the representative government to reassert itself as the voice of the people and resume its regular duties.

“The important decisions made moving forward could very well decide the fate of the state for the foreseeable future. With questions like the reopening process and the budget hole needing to be dealt with, it’s the right of the people to have their voices heard through their representation.”

Through state actions including mandating social distancing and requiring of non-essential workers to stay at home in order to mitigate the spread of the virus, hospitalizations, infection rates, and deaths have seen a steady decline. On April 20,  in partnership with the Assembly Minority, Hawley called on the governor to consider their plan of reopening the state on a region-by-region basis. Gov. Cuomo has presented his own framework for reopening the state region by region, but by his criteria, no part of the state is yet ready to do so.

The issue of emergency powers was exacerbated when, on May 9, Gov. Cuomo pushed the deadline of emergency powers to June 6 through yet another executive order. In partnership with the minority party, Hawley is again calling for Gov. Cuomo to relinquish his emergency power as the state continues to move forward with its reopening plans unabated.


HAWLEY PROVIDES UPDATES ON VILLAGES OF ORLEANS INVESTIGATION

               In the wake of letters to the Commissioner of the Department of Health (DOH), Attorney
General and the Governor’s office, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) says that significant progress is being made in the investigation of the deaths of senior citizens in the Villages of Orleans. In addition to the Governor’s office, the DOH and the Attorney General’s office, the Orleans County Sherriff’s office, the District Attorney’s office and the federal Department of Heath and Human Services have become involved in the investigation.

            “My goal here is to get all the parties involved who can assist in making this investigation more thorough and complete,” Hawley said. “By involving all of these departments on all of these levels of government and public safety, we are ensuring that no stone is left unturned, and that our residents and staff at The Villages’ lives and quality of care are safeguarded.”

            The investigation into the Villages of Orleans stems from the recent development of a multitude of serious complaints in this senior care facility. The Villages currently has 55 percent of all COVID-positive cases in Orleans County, and 95 percent of COVID-related deaths in Orleans County.


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May 4, 2020                                                                                                                

Dr. Howard A. Zucker, J.D., Commissioner

New York State Department of Health

Corning Tower

Empire State Plaza,

Albany, NY 12237

 

Dear Commissioner Zucker:

I am writing, with deep concern, relative to the numerous reports of  illness and deaths due to COVID-19 at the Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center in Albion, New York.

I am asking for an immediate and full-scale investigation of The Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center.  There have 49 positive cases of COVID-19 at the facility with 13 residents passing. 

I have written to you in the past regarding concerns with nursing homes in this district, specifically The Villages of Orleans Health and Rehab Center, Albion, Orleans County.  We must ensure that residents and staff of these homes receive the care, respect and comfort they deserve.  We must do all we can to protect the most vulnerable in our community at this time.

Your attention to this urgent matter is greatly needed and appreciated on behalf of the residents; we look forward to your response. 

Sincerely,                                                                            

STEVE HAWLEY

Member of Assembly

139th A.D.


HAWLEY SPONSORS LEGISLATION FOR FINANCIAL SUPPORT OF FIREFIGHTERS, EMS

               Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) recently signed on with the Assembly Republican Conference to sponsor legislation that would divert state and federal funds received for COVID-19 relief to frontline firefighters and EMS workers who have been on the clock since the lockdown in New York started. With these organizations relying heavily on donations and fundraisers to support their services, and with the lockdown draining them of their resources, Hawley wants to ensure these workers are protected and ensure their success.

            “During these tough times, with a budget that is struggling to keep up, we need to be provide state and federal funding to those risking their health and safety on the front lines,” Hawley said. “There is just about $90 million that’s been generated from wireless surcharges that is deposited into the state’s General Fund and not used for emergency response purposes; my recommendation is to start there.”

            “Despite these trying times, it’s important that we keep in sight the health and safety issues that our frontline workers are facing. They need this funding to offset the costs they can’t make back otherwise during this pandemic. The legislation proposed addresses the need for state funding as a result of COVID-19.”

            To further support these frontline workers, Hawley is urging Speaker Heastie and the Chair of Assembly Racing and Waging Committee, Assemblyman Pretlow, to allow a full vote on his Assembly Bill A2250, which would legalize the selling of raffle tickets online for non-profit organizations who fundraise, such as local firehouses, volunteer organizations, service clubs, or EMS operations.

 

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