Steve Hawley

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

News

August 21, 2019
Contact: Steve Hawley
5853562394

MAY 4, 2021                                                                                                               

HAWLEY ANNOUNCES ACTIVATION OF TRAFFIC LIGHTS AT ROUTE 77 AND LEDGE ROAD INTERSECTION IN THE TOWN OF ALABAMA

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is announcing that traffic lights have been installed and activated at the Route 77 and Ledge Road intersection in the town of Alabama. 

 

The state Department of Transportation (DOT) had previously planned on construction of a roundabout at this intersection, but canceled those plans after the town passed a resolution opposing the project for reasons related to cost and safety. The DOT had previously planned to build a roundabout for $1.8 million, but the installation of the traffic lights proved to be a more prudent and sensible solution, costing only approximately $100,000. Hawley joined locals in opposing this project in favor of installing traffic lights to address safety concerns, which were just turned on this last Thursday.

 

“I am glad to see this project come to fruition and hope it will ensure safe travel for the agricultural, emergency and commercial traffic that make use of the intersection every day,” said Hawley. “With that said, I still caution all residents to take the dangers surrounding this intersection seriously and heed all traffic signals and devices.”


HAWLEY STANDS WITH ASSEMBLY MINORITY IN OPPOSING EXTENSION OF EVICTION MORATORIUM

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is joining his colleagues in the Assembly Minority in standing against the extension of a legislative moratorium on evictions. The Assembly Majority has introduced a bill (A.7175) to extend the moratorium through Aug. 31. 2021. Hawley has opposed extending the moratorium in the past, as it has greatly burdened small landlords throughout the pandemic that have been unable to collect rent to pay the mortgages on their properties.

 

“The landlords impacted the most by this moratorium are people who have worked their entire lives to buy property to generate an income to take care of their families, and we’ve left them helpless for over a year now,” said Hawley. “Addressing the burden placed on our housing system by COVID-19 means helping both tenants and landlords, and this moratorium deprives them of their rightful legal and financial recourse.”

April 20, 2021                                                                                                          

HAWLEY SLAMS ASSEMBLY MAJORITY FOLLOWING REJECTION OF BILL EXEMPTING ELDERLY VETS FROM STATE INCOME TAXES

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is railing against the Assembly Majority after they tabled a bill he sponsored during a Ways and Means Committee meeting that would have exempted veterans over the age of 85 from paying state income taxes (A.5033). Notably, this bill was rejected even after the Majority passed a budget that gives over $2 billion in assistance to illegal immigrants in the form of direct payments. The cost to the state in lost revenue from excluding veterans over 85 years old from state income taxes is estimated to be about $6 million, just over one fourth of one percent (.0000283) of the state’s record high $212 billion budget. 

 

“The decision by the Majority to refuse to take this small step to show appreciation for our most elderly veterans even after giving billions to people who broke the law to come to this country is shameful, and representative of our state’s misguided priorities as a whole,” said Hawley. “We are failing those who have risked their lives for our freedoms, and helping those who have disrespected our nation’s rule of law. It seems, year after year, the Majority places the well-being of lawbreakers above that of working people, and apparently even our veterans, even when they need our help more than ever during these unprecedented times.” 


HAWLEY JOINS SEN. RATH, LEGISLATOR GARY MAHA, GENESEE VETERANS SERVICES DIRECTOR BILL JOYCE, AND WNY HEROES IN ANNOUNCING DWYER PROGRAM FUNDING

 Genesee_Dwyer_Presser_4-15-2021.jpg

(Left to Right): President and Program Director respectively of WNY Heroes Chris Kreiger and Lynn Magistrale, Legislator Gary Maha, Assemblyman Steve Hawley, Genesee Veterans Services Director Bill Joyce and Sen. Ed Rath



Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) was joined today at the Genesee County Veterans Service Agency by Senator Ed Rath (R,C,I-Amherst), Genesee County Legislator Gary Maha, Genesee County Veterans Services Director Bill Joyce and Chris Kreiger and Lynn Magistrale of WNY Heroes, the organization that operates the Dwyer program in Genesee County, to discuss funding of the Joseph P. Dwyer Veteran Peer Support Program and the impact the program has on local veterans. 


The final enacted budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year included $4,505,000 for the Dwyer Program across New York State, with $185,000 allocated for Niagara County, $185,000 for Monroe County, and $185,000 for Orleans, Genesee, and Wyoming Counties. This funding was secured even as Governor Cuomo proposed eliminating it entirely in his executive budget proposal.


“As a member of the Assembly Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and being a veteran myself, I am proud to have secured this funding for our service members after yet another attempt by the governor to eliminate it from our state budget,” said Hawley. “This funding saves lives, and operating programs such as the Dwyer program is the least we can do for those that risk their lives to defend our liberties.”


"I was pleased that the Dwyer Program funding was included in the final 2021-22 budget,” said Senator Rath. “The services that the Dwyer Program provides to our veteran community are critical. The State has continuously tried to cut or delay this funding, so I am happy that it was included in full."


“We are honored to take care of veterans and assist their families,” said Chris Kreiger, President of WNY Heroes and Iraq War veteran. “Our programs are about providing a hand up, not a hand out. It takes more strength to ask for help and even more strength to accept it. Here at WNYHeroes, we are no different than you, the veteran. We don’t dress in fancy clothing, we don’t drive fancy cars, we simply just want nothing more than to provide support while sustaining your dignity at the same time.”


HAWLEY JOINS ASSEMBLY REPUBLICANS IN CALLING ON SPEAKER HEASTIE, COMMITTEE CHAIRS TO PROVIDE JUSTIFICATION FOR RESTAURANT CURFEW

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) joined his Assembly Republican colleagues in calling on Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and associated committee leaders to provide them with copies of the required notices and justifications from the governor’s office regarding a modification to an executive order that mandates a 12 a.m. curfew on bars and restaurants, and why the curfew was simply pushed back an hour from 11 p.m. to 12 a.m. instead of being done away with entirely. Pursuant to Chapter 71 of the laws of 2021, the governor is now required to inform legislative leaders and relevant committee chairs of any extension, modification or alteration to existing executive orders related to the pandemic.

 

Hawley has been critical of this curfew for months, especially as similar restrictions were lifted on casinos, theaters and gyms. The curfew has been in effect in some form since mid-November of last year and has placed great strain on family-owned businesses and small restaurants, forcing many of them to close on a temporary or permanent basis.

 

“Every day we wait to do away with this senseless curfew, the more real the fear of closure for restaurant owners becomes,” said Hawley. “It is ridiculous to think casinos can stay open all night while restaurants are forced to close, and I hope our legislative colleagues in the Majority will join us in standing with restaurant owners against this nonsensical and burdensome curfew. Many of the restaurants threatened by this mandate have been built and operated by several generations of family members and for us to let this mandate drive them out of business would be nothing short of tragic. COVID-19 doesn’t suddenly grow more aggressive after midnight, and it certainly isn’t more infectious in restaurants than it is in theaters and casinos.”

April 9, 2021                                                                                                            

ON THE BUDGET: RECORD SPENDING, POORLY SPENT

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

 

As families throughout the state have tightened their budgets throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to prepare for an uncertain future, the Majority has decided now is the time to become more cavalier than ever in their spending. Worse yet, by increasing spending to historic levels, we may have less than ever to show for all of that spending in this incredible time of need for so many small businesses throughout New York. 

 

“In this second-largest budget in our nation that spends more than those of the large and populous states of Texas and Florida combined, and almost as large as California’s proposed executive budget for this year, a state with about twice as many people as ours, we will give $2.1 billion to illegal immigrants in stimulus and unemployment payments while only giving small businesses about $1 billion in assistance. These small businesses employ our neighbors, pay taxes that fund our municipal governments and emergency services and make our communities the unique places we know and love. The loss of these businesses would devastate the communities that rely on them and our state as a whole, and it should not be controversial to want to support businesses that families have worked to build for generations rather than people who disrespect our laws in order to enter our country.

 

“As unwise as this spending is, it’s also unsustainable in a very dangerous way. The Majority is treating the hefty federal stimulus we received this year like an incredibly-irresponsible person would treat lottery winnings, spending it all rapidly to start living a lifestyle we won’t be able to sustain that will be financially ruinous for our state in the future. The money we’re spending now won’t be there this year, but it’s unlikely the people and agencies across the state it supports will plan for that. Instead, we will be forced in the future between painful tax increases or spending cuts, which will come with very real consequences for our economy and our communities. 

 

“Those in the Majority would do well to look at how their constituents have ‘lived within their means’ in the last year as we pass this budget that’s 20% larger than last year’s. If New Yorkers managed their finances like their government did we would be in a very bad place, and I only hope the consequences of this budget do not bring about suffering in communities that have worked to be responsible with their resources.”     


        

HAWLEY STANDS IN OPPOSITION TO BUDGET THAT WILL RAISE TAXES, PUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS BEFORE SMALL BUSINESSES

The budget the Majority is set to pass this year will increase our state’s spending by about 20% over last year’s budget, and it makes me think, has the average New York family increased their spending by that much over the last year? The answer is of course not, while New York families have pared back their spending and lived within their means, our state is poised to increase both spending and taxes in a way that will prove unsustainable, all while giving twice to illegal immigrants what it will distribute to small businesses as aid. I am nearly certain that by this time next year the Majority will be talking about the need to further increase our taxes to pay for the increased spending people will come to rely on, which is why I will be voting against this irresponsible budget.”      

April 6, 2021                                                                                                            

HAWLEY SLAMS PROPOSALS TO ESTABLISH “EXCLUDED WORKERS FUND” TO PROVIDE BILLIONS IN AID TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is vocalizing his opposition to the proposed establishment of an “excluded workers fund” in this year’s state budget, which advocates hope will provide over $2.1 billion in new state funding to provide aid to illegal immigrants. The fund would allocate $2.1 billion in new spending to provide unemployment benefits, including benefits similar to Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), for workers federally ineligible to receive traditional unemployment insurance benefits: illegal immigrants and convicted felons. 

 

Non-citizens and other cash-economy workers would be the primary beneficiaries of such funds, as they are ineligible to receive unemployment benefits under current federal Department of Labor regulations. Some beneficiaries would be eligible for payments of up to $27,000 under current Assembly Majority proposals.

 

“In this unprecedented time of need, as thousands of families struggle to keep the lights on and put food on their tables, we shouldn’t be spending billions to help people who should not be here in the first place,” said Hawley. “Rewarding those who ignore our laws will only further erode the rule of law in our state. In doing so, we would disrespect all who come to our nation legally, as well as those who otherwise live here lawfully but are still struggling to make ends meet.”   


  

HAWLEY DISAPPOINTED AS RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA BILL BECOMES LAW

 

“What passed in the Assembly today has no basis in justice or science, and I fear that the revenue this bill projects our legal marijuana program will bring in has blinded them to the real costs of this legislation. What we know is that in other states, driver impairment rates have risen nearly universally, and these factors have caused states like Colorado to pay about four dollars in damages for every dollar earned in revenue. The passage of this legislation will come with real consequences that we will be left to pay for in the years to come, both financially and in terms of human health and human lives. I feel this will be a decision we look back on, wishing we had given it more thought.”  


  

HAWLEY AND ASSEMBLY REPUBLICANS CALL ON GOV. CUOMO TO RELEASE $1.3 BILLION IN FEDERAL CARES ACT HOUSING FUNDING

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) joined other members of the Assembly and Senate Minority Conferences on Wednesday in calling on Gov. Cuomo to release $1.3 billion in CARES Act housing assistance funding to aid tenants and landlords. If the money were to go unused by the end of September, it is possible the federal government could take the funds back, leaving tenants and landlords without much-needed assistance. Tenants have struggled to pay rent due to the pandemic, causing many small landlords to face difficulty in paying their mortgages.      

 

“People need this money now more than ever, and to leave it sitting around during this time of great need is unconscionable,” said Hawley. “Helping everyday New Yorkers should be our number one priority during these times, and for most people their priority number one is keeping a roof over their heads. This money will go a long way toward keeping people’s rents and mortgages paid, and I see no reason we should wait any longer in getting it to those who need it most.”        

MARCH 26, 2021                                                                                                            

HAWLEY RENEWS CALL FOR IMPEACHMENT FOLLOWING REPORT GOV. RESERVED STATE COVID TESTS FOR FAMILY AND ALLIES

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is renewing his call for the governor’s impeachment following a bombshell report that the governor secured state-administered COVID tests for himself, members of his family and those with close political and personal ties to him during a period in the pandemic in which government labs only had the capacity to process several hundred tests each day. State police resources were also reportedly used to transport these tests to state labs for faster processing.

“It has become abundantly clear the governor is willing to take actions that benefit himself and those close to him at the public’s expense,” said Hawley. “Somebody with such misguided convictions has no place continuing as our governor, and we need to move forward with impeachment proceedings as quickly as possible. Of course he could still do the right thing and resign.”   

MARCH 25, 2021                                                                                                            

COVID-19 Update

The Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments have two Pfizer vaccination clinics with appointments available for Genesee and Orleans County residents.

Whichever COVID-19 vaccine is available is the right vaccine to get now!  All approved vaccines are effective and saves lives.  We encourage anyone that is currently eligible to register for an upcoming clinic.

Vaccine is now available for people age 50 and older along with the existing priority groups (http://bit.ly/NYSPriorityGroups).  Pfizer is a 2-series dose series, 21 days apart (3 weeks), and is recommended for people aged 16 and older.

It is important to note that you must be able to return for the second dose 21 days after the first dose at the location you received your initial vaccination.  You will be making that appointment after you are vaccinated.  If you cannot make that date, please do not make an appointment for a 2-dose series until you can make both appointments. 

Visit the vaccination web page at:  https://bit.ly/GOHealthVaccine

Direct links to the 1st dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination clinics are:

Genesee clinic at GCC Batavia:  https://bit.ly/GCCPfizer

Orleans clinic at Ridgeway Fire Hall, Medina:  http://bit.ly/OrleansPfizer

 

Orleans Community Health – Medina Memorial Hospital also has 3 clinics planned at 200 Ohio St, Medina:

If you are interested in making an appointment to get your COVID-19 vaccination, now is the time to do it locally! 


HAWLEY JOINS ASSEMBLY AND SENATE REPUBLICANS IN CALLING FOR END TO 11 P.M. BARS AND RESTAURANTS CURFEW


“The curfew in place for our bars and restaurants has no base in science and has been extremely harmful to small businesses throughout the state,” said Hawley. “To allow people to remain in casinos after 11 p.m. but not restaurants is ridiculous. Rather than saving lives, this mandate is killing jobs and making it much harder for small business owners throughout the state to get back on their feet after a brutal year of shutdowns and having to operate in compliance with egregious and burdensome restrictions such as this.”

MARCH 15, 2021                                                                                                            

Agriculture Literacy Week 2021

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLYiqWc-ltE&ab_channel=CornellCooperativeExtensionofGeneseeCounty

MARCH 10, 2021                                                                                                            

HAWLEY SEEKS TO RAISE AWARENESS OF NEW BOATING SAFETY CERTIFICATE REQUIREMENT FOR ALL MOTORBOAT OPERATORS

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is reminding constituents that due to a new boating law passed last year, all motorboat operators, regardless of age, must have a boating safety certificate by 2025 in order to operate motorized watercrafts, including personal watercraft such as jet-skis.

 

Under the new law, all motorboat operators:

 

  • Born on or after Jan. 1, 1993 needed a boating safety certificate beginning in 2020.

  • Born on or after Jan. 1, 1988 will need a boating safety certificate beginning in 2022.

  • Born on or after Jan. 1, 1983 will need a boating safety certificate beginning in 2023.

  • Born on or after Jan. 1, 1978 will need a boating safety certificate beginning in 2024.

  • All motorboat operators regardless of age will need a boating safety certificate beginning in 2025.

 

Information on taking the boating safety course in-person or online can be found at https://parks.ny.gov/recreation/boating/.

 

“I encourage anyone who has even a mild interest in boating to take the state boating safety course, because it’s never been easier to get your certificate,” said Hawley. “Whether taking the course in-person or online, it’s a great way to spend an afternoon and ensure everyone stays safe in New York waters.”        

MARCH 8, 2021                                                                                                              

 

HAWLEY AND ASSEMBLY MINORITY ANNOUNCE INTENT TO INTRODUCE IMPEACHMENT RESOLUTION AGAINST GOV.

 

“After ignoring the calls my colleagues and I have been making for him to resign, today we had no choice but to set into motion the introduction of an impeachment resolution against the governor. Our state is facing dire economic, public health and fiscal challenges that demand our full attention as a Legislature. The last thing we need is a prolonged political battle over removing the governor when everyday New Yorkers need our help more than ever, so I am hopeful we can move through this impeachment process quickly to get back to the people’s work.”

MARCH 5, 2021                                                                                                              

Read Across America

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5QJvOrxoTc


HAWLEY CALLS ON COMMISSIONER ZUCKER TO IMPLEMENT ‘3-FOOT RULE’ TO ALLOW STUDENTS TO RETURN TO CLASSROOMS FULL TIME

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) wrote a letter Thursday to state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker requesting that he and the Cuomo administration consider changing health guidelines to allow a 3-foot distance between students, as opposed to the current 6-foot standard. This would allow students to return to classrooms full-time and end remote learning. The American Academy of Pediatrics has acknowledged that many nations have been able to re-open schools with a 3-foot standard in place, without increasing the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

 

Hawley believes that remote learning is in many ways harmful to the development of young students, as they are deprived of the opportunity to socialize with their peers and develop critical social skills. Hawley also raises the point that for many students, home is not an environment conducive to learning, and many students who face adverse circumstances at home rely on school as a place they know they can be kept safe and fed a nutritious meal.

 

“The safety of our children will always be our foremost priority, but it has become clear that remote learning is taking a toll on their development in a very concerning way,” said Hawley. “We have evidence to show that the 3-foot standard can be implemented safely, and should work quickly to get our kids back in schools full-time to minimize the negative consequences remote learning will have on our children and help them become the best young citizens they can be.”

Hawley_Kids_in_Class_Letter_With_Sig-page-0.jpg

MARCH 3, 2021                                                                                                              

 

STATE APPROVES CREATION OF REGIONAL MASS VACCINATION CLINIC AT GENESEE COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Clinic is targeted to Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County residents

BATAVIA, NY – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Department of Health have agreed to host a temporary regional mass vaccination clinic at Genesee Community College (GCC) main campus center (1 College Rd, Batavia) to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to rural counties.

The announcement comes after the legislative leaders and public health directors of Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties sent a letter last week to the Governor urgently requesting the designation of such a clinic to serve rural populations in the region. 

“We are pleased to see this allocation for the Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County area,” stated Lynne Johnson, Chairperson of the Orleans County Legislature.  “Our three counties have been underserved throughout this pandemic, especially with the lower vaccine allocations which in turn produces lower vaccination rates.”

This state-run clinic, expecting to vaccinate 3,500, is targeted to Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County residents who are in the state eligible groupings.  The state has confirmed, as of 03/02/21, the vaccine will be the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) one dose vaccine.  The clinic is located at the GCC Athletic Center where signs will guide those with appointments to the entrance.  The clinic will be held starting:

  • Friday, March 5th from 12:00 noon – 4:00 p.m.,
  • Saturday and Sunday (March 6th and 7th) from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Monday and Tuesday (March 8th and 9th) from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Appointments must be made via the New York State ‘Am-I-Eligible’ webpage https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/ or by calling the New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-697-4829 only. 

“We are pleased to be a part of this mass vaccination clinic,” stated Rebecca Ryan, Chairwoman of the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors.  “This will help put a dent in our priority groups.”

“To say this COVID vaccination site is necessary is an understatement, as I speak with constituents daily who are told they have to travel hours in some cases just to get their vaccine,” said New York State Assemblyman Steve Hawley. “I am hopeful we will see progress made toward opening this site for the convenience of all who wish to receive the vaccination in the Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County communities.  We need to do all we can to stop the spread of COVID-19 throughout New York State.”

"I am very happy that GCC will be serving as a vaccination site for Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties. In the joint legislative health hearing this past Thursday, I specifically requested Commissioner Zucker establish a vaccination site at GCC,” said New York State Senator Edward Rath.  “I am pleased that this all is happening very quickly, and we can work to get residents in our rural counties vaccinated. Thank you to our local leaders for their leadership on the issue."

“We hope this is just the beginning of our region getting an equitable share of the vaccine,” stated Rochelle Stein, Chairperson of the Genesee County Legislature.  “In order to continue to provide vaccine to those in rural counties, we encourage the state to continue to provide these limited mass vaccination clinics to assist our counties and get the vaccine in the arms of our residents who choose to get it.”


HAWLEY DISAPPOINTED IN CANCELLATION OF LEGISLATIVE SESSION FOLLOWING SECOND SEXUAL HARASSMENT ALLEGATION TOWARD GOV.

 

Today’s cancellation of session is extremely disappointing, especially as we are now grappling  with multiple crises in our government. We are facing a pandemic, a debt crisis, budget negotiations, and also need to address the accusations made against the governor by two of his former aides, not to forget about his cover-up of deaths that took place in our nursing homes. The people need us more than ever, and I am saddened, though not surprised, that the Majority has decided to take a day off today and cover for the governor as he faces investigations by the Attorney General and Department of Justice, rather than address our state’s critical needs.”


HAWLEY CALLS FOR GOVERNOR’S RESIGNATION IN WEEKEND INTERVIEWS

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) over the weekend spoke with WHAM 13 Rochester and Rochester TV 8 to discuss recent allegations made against the governor by two of his former aides who state he had sexually harassed them in private. Speaking with these media outlets, Hawley called on the governor to resign immediately in the aftermath of both these sexual harassment allegations and also following reports that his administration actively covered up the amount of fatalities in New York nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

           In the interviews, Hawley emphasized that amid an ongoing pandemic, budget negotiation process, a federal investigation into his cover-up of nursing home fatality data, and now an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, New Yorkers need a governor that can fully devote their time and focus on addressing the needs of everyday New Yorkers in what are unprecedented and challenging times. 

 

“It needs to happen yesterday,” said Assemblyman Hawley in an interview with WHAM 13. “Any time there’s an allegation, it needs to be taken seriously, and we need to move forward with that.”

 

“[Cuomo] owes it to the people of the state of New York— his constituents, my constituents,” said Hawley, as he spoke with News 8 Rochester. “We have an awful lot going on in the state, in this nation. And the appropriate thing for him to do at this point is resign.”


HAWLEY ANNOUNCES $290M INVESTMENT BY PLUG POWER FOR HYDROGEN FUEL FACILITY IN GENESEE COUNTY



Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today announced leading alternative energy provider Plug Power’s investment of $290 million to construct a state-of-the-art hydrogen fuel production facility and electric substation in the Western New York Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) in the town of Alabama in Genesee County. 

 

Plug Power has committed to creating 68 jobs at the new production facility which will pay an average salary of $70,000 with benefits, and construction is expected to begin this Summer. Plug Power’s agreement to build its new hydrogen fuel production facility in New York is the result of a comprehensive state and local incentive package from the New York Power Authority, Empire State Development and Genesee County.

 

“After working for months with local and state officials on this project, I am proud to announce that shovels will hit dirt at the Science, Technology, and Advanced Manufacturing Park this summer to construct the Northeast’s first hydrogen fuel production facility, and create almost 70 jobs in the process,” said Hawley. “This facility will use state-of-the-art techniques to create clean energy that will be used throughout the country, and I am hopeful it is the first of more job-creating projects to come for the STAMP site.”


HAWLEY ANNOUNCES COMPLETION OF ERIE CANAL BRIDGE REHABILITATION PROJECT IN ORLEANS COUNTY 

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is announcing today the completion of a $10.7 million Erie Canal Bridge Rehabilitation Project in Orleans County, in which seven 100-year-old truss bridges were repaired to enhance safety and ease of travel. The project will allow the safe passage of trucks, farm equipment and commercial and emergency vehicles to pass safely due to the replacement of the steel flooring on the bridges, which raises their legal weight limit.

 

“I want to thank everybody in the community and at the Department of Transportation who had a part in planning and executing these rehabilitation projects over these last two years,” said Hawley. “These improvements will allow farmers, small businesses, families and emergency services to have improved access to places they need to go throughout the county, and I am certain the work done on these bridges will help save lives and make Orleans County a better place to live and work for everyone.”

 

February 12, 2021                                                                                                      

 

HAWLEY SPEAKS ON BOMBSHELL POST REPORT THAT GOV. CUOMO’S TOP AIDE ADMITTED TO COVERING UP NURSING HOME DEATHS

 

“It is hard to find the words to express my frustration with the details of this report. I am incredibly saddened by how families who have already lost their loved ones have been disrespected by this administration after already going through the painful process of grief. We now know for certain that the governor put his reputation before the lives of over 15,000 nursing home residents, and we must keep all options on the table to hold him accountable, along with everyone else responsible for this tragedy and the ensuing cover-up. At this point, any excuses made to not rescind the governor’s emergency powers and immediately investigate this matter as thoroughly and independently as possible are entirely disingenuous, and we must now all put politics aside to do what’s right for the thousands of families who had their loved ones taken from them.”


HAWLEY DELIVERS “VALENTINES FOR VETS” MADE BY JACKSON PRIMARY SCHOOL FIRST GRADERS TO BATAVIA VETERANS’ HOME

Hawley_Val_Vets_2-11-2021.jpg

Hawley drops off valentines at the New York State Veterans’ Home in Batavia on Feb. 11, 2021



Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) visited the New York State Veterans’ Home in Batavia to drop-off valentines that were made by first-grade students from Jackson Primary School as part of the Assemblyman’s “Valentines for Vets” program. A veteran himself, and a member of the Assembly Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Hawley remained outside of the facility as he left the valentines due to COVID-19 restrictions.


“In what has been a challenging and isolating year for us all, it was my pleasure to facilitate the delivery of these valentines to let our veterans know how much their service is appreciated by the young people of our community,” said Hawley. “The messages written by the children for our veterans were heartwarming and an encouraging sign for our future, and I am proud of these young patriots for what they’ve done to show our veterans how much their service means to them.”


HAWLEY JOINS ASSEMBLY MINORITY MEMBERS IN LETTER CALLING ON ASSEMBLY OVERSIGHT, HEALTH, AND AGING COMMITTEE MEMBERS TO SIGN PETITION TO COMPEL COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH TO TESTIFY

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) joined his colleagues in the Assembly Minority in a press conference calling on members of the Assembly Oversight, Health and Aging committees to sign a petition that would trigger the delivery of a subpoena to New York State Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard A. Zucker to testify and provide all data on nursing home deaths occurring during the pandemic., The subpoena would also request all communications from the Department of Health (DOH) and other parties that led to the decision to develop, implement and override its March 25 directive, and allow Zucker to provide answers as to why this information was kept from the Legislature and public for such a long period of time.

 

According to Section 62-A of Legislative Law, if a majority of members on a given committee sign a petition, they then have the authority to issue a subpoena for the individual in question to appear before the committee to answer questions. Hawley has sought for months to hold legislative hearings in which Dr. Howard Zucker would be compelled to answer questions regarding the thousands of deaths in New York nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic and about the attempts that followed to cover up the severity of the tragedy.

 

“Given the sheer tragedy of this situation, I am hopeful my colleagues in the Majority on this committee will do what’s right as human beings and compel Commissioner Zucker to provide the answers grieving families have waited far too long for,” said Hawley. “If our governor’s own attorney general was able to put aside their partisanship for the sake of truth and justice, I can only hope those in the Majority on these committees will also put their humanity before their politics.”

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February 8, 2021                                                                                                      

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HAWLEY RECEIVES “FRIEND IN GOVERNMENT” AWARD FROM NEW YORK BEEF PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION

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Assemblyman Hawley receives his award from the New York Beef Producers Association on February 5, 2021

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has been awarded the New York Beef Producers Association 2020 Friend in Government award, which he received during their annual meeting held virtually on Zoom. Hawley has been supportive of New York agriculture as a lawmaker and as a citizen for decades, as he is a 42 year member of the New York State Farm Bureau, has served as President of the Genesee County Farm Bureau and has been a member of the New York State Assembly Committee on Agriculture for 15 years. The award is given to legislators who have been notably vocal advocates for those in the industry of beef production, and Assemblyman Hawley is one of only two legislators to receive this award this year.

 

“As a former farmer myself, it has been my honor to stand up as a voice for everybody who works in agriculture in our state, including beef producers,” said Hawley. “I look forward to continuing to champion the causes of our farmers, and even as we face a challenging year ahead I look forward to working with producers to make the best of it and assure their voices are heard in our Legislature.”


A TIME FOR HONESTY

A Legislative Column by Assemblyman Steve Hawley

 

Taking ownership of our decisions is something that we’re taught the importance of from a young age, such as when our schoolteachers told us the story of George Washington and his famous cherry tree. While that tale was just an American folk story, it taught us all that our greatest leaders are honest and take responsibility for their actions, just as we all should as citizens. That message is more relevant than ever following our governor’s inability to take responsibility for the deaths of thousands of New Yorkers in our nursing homes. 

 

The unfathomable loss of life that took place this year is the greatest tragedy I’ve witnessed in my time as a legislator in Albany. As lawmakers and as human beings, we should all feel angry about the cover up that they tried to hide from us. In recent months, we’ve heard lots in the media about unity and coming together to do what’s right. While in this moment, we have been provided the opportunity to stand together against something we should all be able to recognize as wrong. 

 

The issue at hand is nothing nuanced or technical. The simple fact of the matter is that thousands of people died because of decisions our governor made, and we have been presented with a choice. Lawmakers can choose to seek justice and stand with the people or defend his wrongdoings and stand for his political interests. We need hearings to hold those responsible for this tragedy accountable, and despite the hesitance of some in the Majority to do so, we need to disempower the governor to prevent him making further bad decisions that could bring our state even more pain.

 

With our governor clearly unwilling to own up to his own mistakes, we in the Legislature need to take back our role in government to protect our most vulnerable. We all need to recognize that this tragedy was caused by the deliberate and unwise actions of our governor, and that it would be negligent of us to let him retain the emergency powers he used to hurt so many people. All eyes are on us to see if we can do the right thing, and I assure you that the countless people in this state who had the ones they loved taken from them will not soon forget who had the conviction to stand up for the people, versus those who cared more about political gamesmanship and their own well-being. 

 

In a time when people trust their government less than ever to do what’s right, let’s come together for once to address something we can all agree is reprehensible— the intentional coverup of thousands of preventable deaths.

February 4, 2021                                                                                                      

HAWLEY CONTINUES PUSH FOR HEARINGS, END TO GOV. CUOMO’S EMERGENCY POWERS FOLLOWING PRESS CONFERENCE ON NURSING HOME AG REPORT

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is reiterating his demands for legislative hearings into the Cuomo administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in nursing homes following a press conference held by legislative colleagues today regarding a bombshell report from the Attorney General’s Office that revealed the department was undercounting COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50 percent. Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay (R,C,I-Pulaski), Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt (R-Tonawanda), “Fox and Friends” co-host Janice Dean and a Capital Region family who lost their loved one to COVID-19 in a nursing home last April were all in attendance.

 

Additionally, Hawley is demanding a termination of the governor’s emergency powers, and also requesting that his colleagues in the Majority compel administration officials to attend legislative hearings on the matter by issuing subpoenas against them.

 

“I am hopeful that seeing the real pain the governor’s wrongdoings brought to an everyday family will be an eye-opener for my colleagues in the Majority and compel them to take getting to the bottom of this matter seriously,” said Hawley. “It has become too obvious to ignore that efforts were made to actively hide the severity of this tragedy, and I am hopeful this week’s shocking developments will spur those in the Majority to do what’s right for those who lost their loved ones.”


 

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JANUARY 28, 2021                                                                                                       

HAWLEY DEMANDS LEGISLATIVE HEARING INTO HEALTH DEPARTMENT FOLLOWING AG REPORT ON NURSING HOME COVID DEATHS

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is demanding a legislative hearing regarding the handling of the pandemic within New York state’s nursing homes by the Department of Health, as well as the revocation of the Governor’s emergency powers, following a report from the state Attorney General’s Office that the department underreported nursing home deaths related to COVID-19 by as much as 50 percent. The report also revealed that residents and staff were not provided with sufficient amounts of PPE and COVID-19 tests, and that many nursing homes were not complying with an executive order requiring communication with family members of residents.

 

“What was revealed in today’s report from the Attorney General is nothing short of tragic, and, at this point, I consider it a moral obligation to hold hearings into this matter so we can get to the bottom of what caused this unfathomable tragedy,” said Hawley. “I am shocked we are only learning today of the magnitude of this unthinkable loss of life, and I am resolved to restoring proper and constitutional government in our state to ensure the Legislature has the oversight capability to assure this never happens again.”


HAWLEY AND MINORITY ASSEMBLY COLLEAGUES DEMAND LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA BE KEPT OUT OF BUDGET PROCESS

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) and his colleagues in the Assembly Minority have written a letter to Gov. Cuomo, Speaker of the Assembly Carl Heastie and New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins demanding they do not use the budget process to legalize marijuana. Hawley believes substantial matters of public policy such as the legalization of marijuana should not be advanced through the budgetary process and should instead be debated and discussed as any other legislation would be. 

 

“This policy matter is deserving of meaningful scrutiny and debate, something we haven't seen much of since the Governor was granted his prolonged and egregious executive powers,” said Hawley. "Legalizing marijuana is a decision for our state that would come with consequences worth discussing, and I am fearful as usual the Governor will care more about acting quickly to please activists and special interests than examining legalization in earnest and what it would really mean for New York."

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HAWLEY AND MINORITY ASSEMBLY COLLEAGUES DEMAND RELEASE OF DWYER VETERANS PROGRAM FUNDING IN LETTER TO ASSEMBLY SPEAKER HEASTIE AND COMMITTEE CHAIRS

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) and his colleagues in the Assembly Minority have written a letter to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and the chairs of the Assembly committees on Mental Health and Veterans’ Affairs demanding funds for the Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer-to-Peer Support Program be released immediately. More than $4.5 million was allocated for the program in the 2020-2021 Enacted Budget for the program, which connects veterans struggling with mental health conditions with other veterans to help them adapt to civilian life one-on-one.

 

“As a veteran and somebody who has served on the Assembly’s Veterans’ Affairs Committee for 15 years, I can’t overstate how crucial this program is and the impact it has on the lives of our service members returning home from duty,” said Hawley. “The unprecedented times we’re living in have impacted us all, including our veterans, and it is critical we maintain this funding during a period when our mental health is more strained than ever. After working with them to fight back the Governor’s attempts to cut the program entirely last year, I am hopeful we will be able to work with the Majority again to insure this program continues helping our veterans.”

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HAWLEY JOINS MINORITY ASSEMBLY COLLEAGUES IN LETTER TO GOV. CUOMO AND COMMISSIONER ZUCKER DEMANDING LOCAL INPUT IN VACCINE DISTRIBUTION PLANNING

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) joined his colleagues in the Assembly Minority in writing a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker calling on them to include local home rule authorities in the process of developing vaccine distribution plans in order to make them more effective. The letter was drafted in response to reports that vaccine distribution has been slow and ineffective in New York state, with some vaccine doses reportedly being wastefully disposed of due to improper storage.

 

“What we do in these next few weeks with vaccine distribution will determine how much tragedy we will all have to endure as a state, so we need to act now to get these vaccines to the people that need them most, as quickly as possible,” said Hawley. “We need to give the people who know their communities better than anyone a say in planning vaccine distribution, because a singular top-down approach will not work for the varied and unique communities that make up New York State. Getting these vaccines out effectively and promptly will save lives, and we cannot afford to let even a single dose of the vaccine go to waste during this unprecedented public health crisis.”

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HAWLEY ANNOUNCES MAINTENANCE WORK ON NY-237 BRIDGE DECK MOVING FORWARD

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is announcing plans are being finalized to commence needed maintenance work on the NY-237 bridge deck over the Erie Canal in the town of Murray in Orleans County. The work will be completed either this year or in 2022 depending on public safety factors and contractor resource availability. The bridge will need to be closed for six weeks as maintenance work takes place, at which point a detour will be established directing motorists to use NY-31, NY-387, and NY-104. 

 

As the project begins, real-time traffic and construction updates can be found by visiting www.511ny.org.

 

“This maintenance work will help insure this bridge continues to safely serve our community for decades to come, and I am grateful to everybody at the Department of Transportation involved in making this much-needed project a reality,” said Hawley. 


HAWLEY ANNOUNCES MAINTENANCE WORK ON NY-31 BRIDGE DECK PROCEEDING AS PLANNED

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is announcing plans are being finalized to commence needed maintenance work on the NY-31 bridge deck over Falls Road Railroad in the town of Ridgeway in Orleans County. The work will be completed either this year or in 2022 depending on public safety factors and contractor resource availability. The bridge will need to be closed for six weeks as maintenance work takes place, at which point a detour will be established directing motorists to use NY-63, NY-31A, and NY-98 . Both lanes of traffic near the bridge will be open during the annual Orleans County 4-H Fair at the end of July.

 

As the project begins, real-time traffic and construction updates can be found by visiting www.511ny.org.

 

“I am glad to see that this project will be able to move forward in the near future without disrupting the annual Orleans County 4-H Fair,” said Hawley. “This maintenance work will keep this bridge safe and operational for years to come, and I’m grateful to everyone at the Department of Transportation involved in planning this important project.”


HAWLEY REACTS TO GOV. CUOMO’S 2021 STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS

 

Today during the State of the State the governor talked a lot about his solutions, his ideas, and how he knew better than anybody else the pain New Yorkers have endured. The response was characteristic of the governor’s handling of this pandemic, as he’s now for months clung onto his emergency powers while everyday New Yorkers have been left voiceless as their communities wither. This pandemic is too great a challenge for one man to take on alone, and the people of our state deserve to have their concerns brought to light by the representatives they elected to do so.”

JANUARY 7, 2021                                                                                                         

HAWLEY SPEAKS ON VIOLENCE IN WASHINGTON D.C.

"We have our First Amendment for a reason, violence is never acceptable regardless of what you believe politically. We are a people of one nation, regardless of political beliefs."


HAWLEY PLEASED WITH FARM LABORER WAGE BOARD DECISION TO MAINTAIN 60 HOUR OVERTIME THRESHOLD

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is praising the recent decision made by the Department of Labor’s Farm Laborer Wage Board to maintain the 60 hour overtime threshold until at least next November. Hawley had been advocating in recent months to maintain this overtime threshold in light of a proposal to lower it, which Hawley feared would make operating an agri-business even more difficult during what has been a hard year for the agricultural sector due to the negative impact COVID-19 has had on the industry. 

 

“This announcement is a big relief for farmers and agri-business entrepreneurs throughout the state, and I’m glad there’s one less thing to worry about in what’s already been an incredibly challenging year for agriculture,” said Hawley. “While there is still work to be done helping our farmers through the COVID-19 pandemic, I am glad we avoided what would have certainly been a catastrophic mistake for our farmers and agricultural workers and entrepreneurs.”


HAWLEY CALLS FOR REJECTION OF BILL THAT WOULD ALLOW GOV. TO DETAIN THOSE VIEWED AS THREAT TO PUBLIC HEALTH

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is calling on his colleagues in the Legislature to reject Assembly Bill 416, which would give the Governor or his surrogates the authority to detain individuals determined to be a threat to public health. Hawley opposes this legislation as he believes it to be unconstitutional and in violation of the right to due process.

 

“This bill is unconstitutional on its face and disregards all basic concepts of due process that make us free in this country,” said Hawley. “Protecting the health of our neighbors is a noble goal to be certain, but this bill forfeits our constitutional liberty in a way we can never allow. This is yet another piece of legislation from a downstate member of the Majority that blatantly disregards the constitution and causes people to distrust their government. People being detained on a whim just isn’t something that should ever happen in our country, and I will do everything I can to stop the passage of this dystopian legislation.”

DECember 31, 2020                                                                                                   

HAWLEY RECAPS 2020, HOPEFUL FOR 2021

With all the negativity and anxiety that has run rampant through the public consciousness in the last year, as we move into 2021, I think we should look back at 2020 and take pride in the strength we showed as a people. In a matter of months our lives were flipped upside down, as everybody from young children to the elderly had to adapt to the unthinkable circumstances we live with today

 

From getting used to mask-wearing, bearing with new technologies, and learning to go with less physical contact from the people we love, we have all done our part to face this unprecedented challenge to both our public health and economic well-being. As the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine continues to accelerate in the months to come, I hope we can look to the future with hope and look back at these times in the same way we look at the sacrifices made by our greatest generation during World War II, as people changed the way they live for the sake of their neighbors and their country.

 

What I would like in 2021 is to see the ability to adapt to changing circumstances displayed by the people of our state emulated within our state government. Just as families throughout the state learned to tighten their budgets and focus on what’s truly essential in this period of hardship, our state Legislature should also look at cutting out spending we don’t need and focusing on what’s really important. Wasteful spending on things like tax breaks for movie studios and extra political advisors for our Governor is unconscionable in a time when more small businesses and restaurants are being forced to close their doors by the day. 

 

This holiday season and throughout the year families looked within their own communities as they purchased gifts and necessities, and just as the people of our state have gone out of their way to support their local institutions, we should act as a state to support our small businesses, small landlords and restaurants that have endured a massive drop in revenue during the pandemic. We should be talking with local stakeholders in these industries and talk about how they can do more, not less, business in our state, and what we can do to support their success in terms of both fiscal and regulatory policy. When small businesses succeed, families prosper, and in 2021 I want to bring the voices of small business owners to the forefront of our conversations in Albany, as they know better than anybody what needs to be done to help them grow and thrive.

 

2021 might end up being the best year we’ve seen in a long time, but only if the Legislature learns from its mistakes and acts with the same toughness and adaptability the people of our state have. New Yorkers deserve a government as tough and as compassionate as they’ve been throughout this year, and I am hopeful that if the Legislature gets smarter with spending and listens more to people affected by the policies they create, that 2021 will be the dawn of a new and brighter day for our state. With that said, I wish a happy and healthy New Year to all of my friends and neighbors!


ASSEMBLY MAJORITY REJECTS MINORITY EFFORTS TO REIN IN GOVERNOR’S UNILATERAL AUTHORITY 

During today’s legislative session, the Assembly Minority presented amendments intended to curtail the governor’s expanded authorities and provide greater balance and accountability in the “COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act” (A.11181). The Assembly Majority rejected each proposal. 

Earlier this month, members of the Assembly Minority wrote to conference leaders, including Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, urging lawmakers to rein in Gov. Cuomo’s unilateral powers as soon as the Legislature reconvenes. Despite 10 months of expanded authority and laws created by executive order rather than the legislative process, the Assembly Majority declined to take action.

“Our constituents deserve to have their voices heard in our government, and I am saddened the Majority has decided to deprive New Yorkers of their representation in state government by allowing the Governor’s unnecessary executive authority to persist,” Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) said. “This authority has long outlived its usefulness, and at this point a return to normal, constitutional governance is overdue.”

In addition, the Assembly Minority offered amendments to add protections for small businesses and small landlords also suffering losses as a result of the COVID-19 economic collapse. The “COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act” creates a hardship declaration that effectively ends residential eviction and foreclosure proceedings until May 1, 2021. Members of the Assembly Minority proposed the same protections provided to residential tenants be offered to small landlords and businesses as a way to alleviate financial pressures and allow thousands of job creators and individuals to begin their recovery.

    The three amendments proposed today intended to:

  • Restore legislative checks and balances for emergency declarations exceeding 45 days and ensure judicial due process rights for any actions that affect fundamental constitutional rights (A.10546, Goodell).

  • Provide the same protections extended to residential tenants in A.11181 to small businesses also facing mortgage and tax foreclosures. Also extend foreclosure protections to small landlords who are not covered by the bill in chief.

  • Require hardship declarations to include a statement, under penalty of perjury, that tenants have used their best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing, and to make timely partial payments that are as close to full payments as their circumstances permit.


HAWLEY RE-APPOINTED DEPUTY MINORITY LEADER OF ASSEMBLY REPUBLICAN CONFERENCE

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has received his committee assignments for the upcoming legislative year, and will be serving on the committees for Agriculture, Insurance, Rules, Veterans’ Affairs and Ways and Means. Additionally, Hawley has also been re-appointed as Deputy Minority Leader of the Assembly Republican Conference.

 

“I am honored to have been chosen once again to serve our conference as Deputy Minority Leader, and look forward to continuing to use my role in our conference to give a voice to the people of the 139th Assembly District, as well as working people and families from all walks of life throughout our state.”

DECember 18, 2020                                                                                                   

HAWLEY CALLS ON PRESIDENT TRUMP TO DIRECT CDC TO RELEASE DATA ON STATEWIDE COVID-19 DEATHS

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) rallied alongside his Assembly Republican colleagues in a letter to President Trump requesting that he assist them in obtaining data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the total number of COVID-19 deaths in the state, including those in nursing homes. For months now, we have written to the director of the CDC, Robert Redfield, requesting this information but have not been provided with a firm number of COVID-19 fatalities in New York state. In a hearing in August, NYS Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker also refused to provide this data, stating he was concerned it would not be fully accurate.

 

“When thousands of people die, families deserve answers,” said Hawley. “Giving the families that suffered irreplaceable losses closure on this matter is the least we could do for them, and we need to know as much about this tragedy as we can to assure we never endure loss like this again. For these reasons, I ask the president to direct the CDC to release this information and give New Yorkers the answers they deserve regarding this unthinkable loss of life.”

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HAWLEY CALLS ON LEGISLATIVE LEADERS TO END GOV. CUOMO’S EMERGENCY POWERS

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) joined in a letter with his Assembly Republican colleagues to call on Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins to demand the Legislature pass legislation to curb Gov. Cuomo’s emergency powers, which have persisted since March. The governor has used his emergency powers to implement several directives unilaterally, and Hawley believes his emergency authority has been too expansive and lasted too long.

 

“New Yorkers deserve a return to representative government,” said Hawley. “The problems that have emerged during this pandemic are too complex for one man to handle, and our constituents deserve to have their concerns voiced by the representatives they elected to speak on behalf of their unique districts. The Governor failed the people of our state in 2020 with mismanagement of this pandemic which left businesses in countless industries closed and without income for far too long, and we owe it to them to do better and take local factors more strongly into consideration before shutting down local businesses that people rely on to feed their families.”

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HAWLEY CALLING ON FEMA TO FUND GREAT LAKES

SHORELINE PROTECTION PROJECTS

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) joined several of his Assembly colleagues in a letter to FEMA seeking to ensure adequate funding for projects necessary to protect Great Lakes shoreline communities and surrounding habitats. Within the letter to FEMA Administrator Peter T. Gaynor, Hawley and others requested the federal government to omit cost-sharing requirements that may come with a potential FEMA grant due to the state’s financial constraints.

 

“The people of our shoreline communities have already had to manage both flooding in recent years as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. If we do not prepare now for future flooding, things could become much worse for them given rising water levels in the Great Lakes,” said Hawley. “We need to be proactive in preparing our infrastructure for rising water levels, because every day we are not the problems our shoreline communities will have to face become more dire.”

DECember 7, 2020                                                                                                     

REMEMBERING PEARL HARBOR

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

               Seventy-nine years ago, America was attacked by Imperial Japanese forces. The Attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike upon the United States against the naval base at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii. It was the day that officially forced the hand of the United States into the conflict that would come to be known as World War II.

That day saw much tragedy, as did the months and years of conflict following it, which is why we remember it today. Being so far removed from the attack, it can be challenging for current generations to reflect on why exactly this day is so important. In a time when global war was once again on the rise, and recognizing America’s strength and influence, our enemies had coordinated an attempt to prevent us from pushing back against their own plans of expansion and domination. And in a time when the world was truly just beginning to open itself up, to globalize in the political, social, and economic sense that we know it today, many world powers were making their claim for dominion wherever they could.

            Reflecting on the Attack on Pearl Harbor today can bring up many diverse and confusing feelings, especially with where the country is today. Despite the clear, distinct, and harsh rivalry America and Japan had as a result of this attack, today, we remain some of the strongest allies to each other. Despite America’s commitment to the freedom and prosperity of its citizens, there was a period following this attack that many American citizens of Japanese descent saw their freedoms stripped for the sake of aggressive security measures, such as with the case of Fred Korematsu. Tensions rose within the country as a result, leading to a lot of social strife, which was only exacerbated with America’s entry into the war and joining the fight on the Western Front.

            This is a day of remembrance: for what followed, absolutely, but also in recognition of the brave heroes who fought in the face of true adversity, in the face of a complete surprise, in the face of losing everything in an instant. Wartime tactics like these aren’t seen often, and aren’t publicized the way Pearl Harbor was; and to know that there were still soldiers, sailors, airmen, nurses and civilians fighting through those wee hours in the morning to get to another day, to save their fellow American, and to push back against aggression, is something worth remembering.

            In the aftermath, 15 Medals of Honor were given. 51 Navy Crosses. 53 Silver Stars. Four Navy and Marine Corps Medals. One Distinguished Flying Cross. Four Distinguished Service Crosses. One Distinguished Service Medal. Three Bronze Star Medals. And following the attack, the Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal was given to all veterans of the attack. These tokens of recognition serve as but a small way to show to America, and indeed to the rest of the world, the courage, bravery, and sacrifice those men and women gave all those years ago. Because that’s what we think about when we remember Pearl Harbor.


HAWLEY CELEBRATES HIGHWAY DEDICATION WITH SEN. ORTT

               Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) and Sen. Robert Ortt (R,C,I-North Tonawanda) are celebrating passage of their legislation which designates a portion of New York State Route 31 in the town of Albion as the “Charles W. Howard Memorial Highway.” Howard was a lifelong resident of Albion, nationally recognized as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Santa Claus for 18 years and founder of the world’s first Santa Claus school. Hawley and Ortt were thrilled to honor Howard (Santa Claus) for his achievements and dedication to the community.  

“Mr. Howard was known for his hard work, his love for community and his jolly spirit; he represented the best any New Yorker could hope to achieve,” said Hawley. “With this highway dedication and the committed partnership of Sen. Ortt, Western New York has finally given the man the recognition and reverence he deserves. This holiday season and  year-round, we can all learn from Charles about how to be good neighbors, how to work to spread cheer and joy and how to live life to the fullest.”

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 [email protected].

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: [email protected] 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:  [email protected]. 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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