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steve hawley

July 27, 2015 - 2:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today condemned the decision by the Fast-Food Wage Board to raise the minimum wage for all fast-food workers statewide to $15 per hour. Hawley said that non-elected bureaucrats making statewide labor policy is an irresponsible way to govern and sets a dangerous precedent that is wrong for New York State.

“As a small-business owner for over four decades, I am appalled at the governor’s handling of this situation,” Hawley said. “Allowing a group of non-elected officials to determine a major change in labor policy for New York’s fast-food industry sets a dangerous precedent of allowing bureaucrats, hand-picked by the governor, to make legislative decisions without debate or input from the Legislature.

"A sharp wage increase will undoubtedly lead to higher prices for consumers and the termination of many employees statewide as franchise owners adjust to deal with higher labor costs. The minimum wage was never meant to be a living wage and a more viable solution would be to create more sustainable, career-oriented jobs instead of providing an incentive against working hard to advance.”

July 24, 2015 - 5:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley.

Press release:

In response to last week’s shooting at a National Guard recruiting center in Tennessee, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is introducing new legislation that would improve security at these facilities in New York State. The bill will be cosponsored by state Senator Rob Ortt.

“There is nothing more important than securing public safety – especially the safety of the brave men and women who defend our nation and communities in the National Guard, military and emergency responders. We cannot allow what happened in Tennessee to be repeated here in New York and I am doing everything I can to ensure that those who protect us are safe here at home,” said Hawley, who is the Ranking Minority Member of the Assembly Veterans’ Affairs Committee and recently hosted the committee’s chairman on a tour of facilities in Western New York.

The new legislation will establish a work group to examine and make recommendations on ways safety can be improved at National Guard recruitment centers in our state. The committee will have 13 members, including representatives from the state Division of Military Affairs, Commission on Homeland Security and Emergency Services, State Police, legislative committee chairs, and four members appointed by the governor, and two members appointed by each of the Assembly Speaker and Temporary President of the Senate.

Upon enactment of the legislation, the work group would have until Dec. 1, 2016 to submit its first periodic report to the state Division of Military and Naval Affairs, which would be empowered to implement any approved recommendations of the group.

July 15, 2015 - 5:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, veterans, batavia, va center.

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Assemblyman Michael DenDekker was in Batavia today as part of a tour of Steve Hawley's district, with stops at the state's Veterans' Hospital and the VA Center as well as Lamb Farms. DenDekker, a Democrat, is chairman of the Assembly's Veterans' Affairs Committee. Hawley is the ranking minority member of the committee. The tour was aimed at helping DenDekker increase his knowledge of veterans issues across the state as well as introduce him to rural Western New York.  

One of the stops was the A Ward in the VA hospital that is being remodeled into private and semi-private rooms. Conducting the tour were contractor Martin Brothers, left, and Royce Calhoun, assistant director of the Batavia VA Center.

July 8, 2015 - 12:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today criticized Gov. Cuomo’s moratorium of roadwork done by private contractors during the Independence Day weekend. The governor announced in a press release last week that private contractors working on state roads and highways would have to cease work and remove equipment not behind a permanent barrier starting July 3 at 6 a.m. until July 5 at 10 p.m.

“I certainly understand the need to make last weekend’s travels as convenient as possible for motorists but it is unfair and burdensome to small businesses to ban them from making a profit for three days,” Hawley said. “This added a large cost to local businesses by denying a potential three days of work and mandating that equipment be moved without reimbursement from the state. Gov. Cuomo should not be penalizing the private sector for a bad traffic experience he had during a holiday weekend several years ago.

"This is another example of how Downstate issues are projected throughout the state and inconvenience those in Western New York who are only marginally affected. If we are truly open for business, we should keep our actions consistent with our words and stop burdening small businesses trying to survive.”

July 7, 2015 - 8:22am
posted by Billie Owens in events, steve hawley.
Event Date and Time: 
July 31, 2015 -
1:00pm to 5:00pm

Assemblyman Steve Hawley's staff holds Office Hours in Genesee County at Genesee Community College
Conable Technology Building, Room T124
Assemblyman R. Stephen Hawley Drive (1 College Road), Batavia
Friday, July 31
1 – 5 p.m.

July 2, 2015 - 9:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, outdoors.

Press release from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

“I am pleased to announce that today Gov. Cuomo signed my bill (A.4367-A) into law to legalize big game rifle hunting in Genesee County. This is a win for sportsmen who treasure hunting as a right of passage they share with their children and for the families who use hunting to help put food on the table in an effort to combat the costs of living in New York State. I want to thank my colleagues who supported this bill in the Assembly and Senate so it could make its way to the governor’s desk.”

June 26, 2015 - 10:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley.

Press release:

“Tonight I voted against an omnibus legislation rushed through the legislative process on the final day of session because it contained a variety of poorly constructed bills. Despite the inclusion of mild tax rebates in the bill, we have not accounted for postage, printing, processing and personnel to construct and mail out property-tax rebate checks. These added costs will surely be paid for by taxpayers and will drain resources from other areas of future budgets, such as education and infrastructure aid. Furthermore, these checks will substantially increase and be mailed out only days before Gov. Cuomo’s reelection in 2018. We should not be buying votes with taxpayer dollars. 

“The ‘Big Ugly’ bill fails to address the root cause of soaring property taxes in New York State: unfunded mandates. The average state receives 2 percent of its revenue as transfers from local governments while New York receives 15 percent of its revenue from local governments. In shifting roughly 1/7 of the costs of the state to local governments, we have forced them to raise property taxes to make up the lost revenue. This is shameful and irresponsible governing. Tax rebate checks or a property-tax cap will not solve our state’s rising property taxes. This must be done at the state level by refusing to shift costs to our localities.”

“It is ridiculous that in this legislation, Gov. Cuomo was granted the power to wed (marry) individuals. That power should be held by religious figures and justices of the peace. For these reasons I am disappointed in this bill and voted against it."

June 16, 2015 - 10:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today outlined his priorities for the last scheduled week of the legislative session. He pushed for the Assembly to take up real ethics reform, including passage of a bill that would strip public officials of their pension and retirement benefits for abusing their office.

“Looking back on this year’s session, I can’t help but label it the corruption session,” Hawley said. “If the fall of two of Albany’s most powerful politicians has taught us anything, it is that we need to prevent future abuses of the public trust. I called on legislative leaders last week to pass pension forfeiture for corrupt politicians and my request has fallen on deaf ears. With only days left in Albany, let’s put integrity back into government and show our citizens we are for real when it comes to ethics reform.” 

Hawley, a small-business owner for more than four decades with years of experience in the agriculture and insurance industries, commented on the lack of pro-business initiatives during this year’s session.

“New York is certainly not open for business as the governor claims,” Hawley said. “It is no wonder that businesses continue to move out of New York State in search of less oppressive economic climates. This year’s budget brought virtually no tax or regulatory relief for our business owners and reinforced the exorbitant tax breaks given to the select few companies who participated in the START-UP NY program. This program has proven to be a dismally costly initiative, which needs to be shut down immediately to cut our losses. We still have time to bring the Small Business Full Employment Act, A.5898, to the floor for a vote and leave session having accomplished something meaningful for the thousands of family-owned small businesses across the state.”

June 1, 2015 - 6:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today called on the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to stop selling drivers’ personal information without their consent to for-profit companies. The DMV reportedly raked in $60 million from the practice last year. Hawley was appalled and astonished that this has been happening without the consent of citizens and called on the DMV and governor’s office to end the process immediately. 

“It’s appalling that in this day of technology and misuse of personal information that we would compromise New Yorkers, without their knowledge, in order to generate revenue,” Hawley said. “In an age where cyber crimes and identity theft are at an all-time high, it is unacceptable that our own state government would conduct a practice that increases residents’ susceptibility to these serious crimes. We have no idea exactly what information is being sold, to whom it is being sold, and what these for-profit companies are doing with the data. I plan to sponsor legislation that will stop this practice unless drivers consent and I will make this a priority during the last three weeks of session.”

Assembly Bill 2509, a bipartisan effort, addresses this issue and currently awaits action in the Assembly Committee on Transportation. To sign the petition against this practice, use the following link, http://bit.ly/1HuIK8P.

May 28, 2015 - 3:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley.

Press release:

As the legislative session begins to wind down, legislative leaders start to get their ducks in a row and make the final push to squeeze every bit of work into those waning final hours. This session was an infamous several months that saw two of Albany’s most powerful leaders topple, an overwhelmingly poor budget, and little to help small businesses or the middle class. But, fortunately for us, the clock has not struck 12 and we still have a chance to do what is right for New Yorkers.

 It seems like forever since we have seen large-scale businesses tax and regulatory relief in New York. As a small-business owner for over four decades, I know the daily struggles and frustrations of owning a business here. Simple expansions or financial changes are met with hundreds of pages of regulations, and that doesn’t take into account the slew of taxes paid by business owners. 

To spur New York’s lackluster economy we need real business tax relief so employers can afford to hire more employees and retain larger profits that they will ultimately reinvest into their businesses. Too often legislative initiatives have targeted only the politically connected or promised to create jobs while falling short. I sponsor the Small Business Full Employment Act, A.5898, which would prohibit new unfunded mandates and provide a host of tax and regulatory relief measures to spur small business growth. It is time we embrace New York’s business climate and create jobs for our thousands of college graduates.

It is time once and for all to clean up Albany’s corruption and restore the people’s faith in government. I, along with the Assembly Minority Conference, have fought for several ethics reforms to deal with abuses of power and increase openness and transparency in government. Measures used by the governor and Assembly Majority allow the passage of unlawful laws like the SAFE Act and backroom deals that besmirch our Legislature. 

Our conference supports the removal of corrupt politicians’ pension and retirement benefits, a measure promised in this year’s budget but removed due to the influence of labor unions on Downstate politicians. Furthermore, over the past few months we have pushed the Public Officers Accountability Act, A.4617, which strengthens campaign finance laws and places term limits on legislative leaders to prevent the alleged abuses committed by former leaders Silver and Skelos. Until we enact both of these measures, Albany will remain a cesspool of corruption and malfeasance.

Despite the large increase in education aid, millions for local development such as the Brownfield Cleanup Program, and tens of millions in aid for our farmers, much more needs to be done. Despite our rocky start, it is time to finish strong and help Upstate New York regain the economic strength it once enjoyed. We’re part of New York State, too!

May 26, 2015 - 6:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley.

Press release:

“As a public official, I have sworn to protect the citizens of my district and taxpayers of New York State by honoring my office and embracing integrity, openness and transparency in my role as an elected leader. It is repugnant to have taxpayers fund the pensions and retirement benefits for public officials convicted of corruption and other felonies related to their official duties. It is morally and professionally irresponsible to ask the residents, whom we have betrayed and stolen from, to line the pockets of public officials who have used their power and social status for personal gain. We are public servants and our focus should be on improving the public’s faith in government and serving our constituents to the best of our abilities.

“The Assembly Minority Conference has led the charge on stripping corrupt public officials of their state pension and retirement benefits. I sponsor bipartisan legislation, A.4643-A, that would accomplish these goals. We were told by the Assembly Majority and Gov. Cuomo that a pension forfeiture bill would be voted upon during budget night this year. To the surprise of many, no such bill reached the Assembly floor for a vote for unknown reasons and we are still waiting on this initiative to pass. With only 12 session days left, and overwhelming support from across the aisle and the governor’s office, I cannot imagine why this bill has not reached the legislature for a vote. This common-sense measure is way past due and cannot wait until next January for action. I will continue to push this measure to do what is right for the people of New York State.” 

May 19, 2015 - 4:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today called on Assembly Democrats to pass Brittany’s Law, which would establish a statewide registry of violent offenders. The legislation provides the public with crucial information about criminals with histories of violence to prevent future victimization. The Senate version, S.513, was passed on Monday and championed as a method to combat domestic violence and preserve the safety of New York’s communities and families.

“Every day this legislation sits dormant in the Assembly is another day that New York’s women are at risk of becoming victims,” Hawley said. “Unfortunately, many victims do not know that their assailant has a violent history or has been incarcerated. This bill would make information of that nature accessible and help law enforcement track convicted felons to ensure the safety of the neighborhood or community in which they live. I am once again calling on Assembly Democrats to stop playing politics with women’s safety and passBrittany’s Law immediately.”

May 9, 2015 - 10:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, vfw, chris collins, steve hawley.

vfwmay92015.jpg

The VFW Post in Batavia is in a poor state of repair, and Rep. Chris Collins is pushing legislation that could help the post, and veteran's service organizations throughout the country.

Collins highlighted his legislation today with an appearance at the post.

Incoming Post Commander Ronald Jackett gave a tour of the building, with it's stained and missing ceiling tiles, corroded bathrooms and peeling paint.

Jackett estimates repairs -- including a new roof -- will cost $40,000.

To help raise funds for repairs, the post is selling tickets for a Harley-Davidson raffle, but he certainly welcomes the proposal being pushed by Collins to make Community Development Block Grant funds available to the nation's veterans services groups for building repairs and upgrades.

"Many of these organizations, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion are able to fund themselves by offering their facilities for special events such as birthdays and weddings," Collins said. "Their facilities serve as community centers, bringing neighbors and families together for special events. These organizations should have the ability to repair their existing facilities and further ensure the safety of those using them for special occasions and gatherings.

Collins said by using CDBG funds, the program draws from an existing expenditure, rather than creating new spending that would add to the federal budget deficit.

Wherever the money comes from, it would certainly be welcome, Jackett said.

"I don't know how we're going to do on this motorcycle raffle," Jackett said. "It's very slow going. It's very important. If we don't get enough off this motorcycle raffle, we're going to be looking everywhere else we can to try to get funding."

The post hasn't been able to use its kitchen for more than a year. It used to be an important source of revenue, generating as much as $1,000 a week in sales.  

The Harley is routinely on display at Chesley Auto on East Main Street, Batavia, where raffle tickets may be purchased.

The bill sponsored by Collins is similar to one introduced by other members of Congress in previous sessions, but never passed.

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After their appearance at the VFW, Collins and Assemblyman Steve Hawley visited Ken Barrett Chevrolet, which was hosting a recruitment drive for the county's veterans' groups, with WBTA broadcasting from the dealership.

May 6, 2015 - 1:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, business.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today commented on last night’s passage of legislation to increase the minimum wage. Hawley said the legislation is misguided and does not improve the already suffocating business climate that New York has perpetuated in past years. The 2015-16 State Budget provides no tax or regulatory relief for small businesses or the middle class.  

“As the owner of small businesses for over four decades, I know the struggles of operating in New York’s tax and fine environment,” Hawley said. “I voted against a minimum wage increase because when businesses are legally obligated to pay their employees more, they are therefore able to hire less employees and therefore create less jobs. A more viable option to help taxpayers would be a widespread middle class tax cut, something the Assembly Majority again failed to include in this year’s budget. My district is heavily agriculturally based and a minimum wage hike would jeopardize the ability of farming operations to hire additional employees, especially on an hourly basis. I will continue to support my district’s business interests and alternatives exist that would address the root problem of high taxes and regulations that is hindering our middle class and business community.   

“Furthermore, this bill raises the minimum wage to a much higher rate in New York, Westchester, Suffolk and Nassau counties than the rest of New York State. This is another piece of evidence highlighting the growing disparity between Upstate and Downstate and why we should allow the public to decide if they would support a division of New York into two separate states by passing my legislation, Assembly Bill 4167. New Yorkers deserve this choice now more than ever considering Downstate interests dominate our legislature while the social and economic concerns of millions of Upstate New Yorkers are ignored.”

Hawley is the owner of an insurance agency based in Batavia and the former owner/operator of Hawley Farms. He is a current member of the Farm Bureau’s Circle of Friends and has voted with pro-business groups such as the Business Council and Unshackle Upstate the vast majority of his time in the legislature.

April 23, 2015 - 2:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, SAFE Act.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today commented on the actions of Assembly Majority Codes Committee members, who killed two bills that would have repealed the unconstitutional SAFE Act. Despite an impressive showing from pro-Second Amendment sportsmen, members of the Assembly Majority killed two bills sponsored by Hawley, A.2651 and A.3350, that would have repealed the NY SAFE Act, which was passed controversially in 2013.

Hawley said the SAFE Act continues to violate New Yorkers’ Second Amendment rights and was irresponsibly jammed though the Legislature in the middle of the night as a political stunt by Gov. Cuomo.

“I have, and always will be, a supporter of the Second Amendment,” Hawley said. “Any legislation that takes away a law-abiding citizen’s ability to possess firearms is an unconstitutional act of government tyranny. I am from a rural district in Western New York and my experience with gun owners has been exemplary. Most gun owners are responsible hunters or firearm enthusiasts, and to prohibit them from adequately protecting themselves or their families is indefensible and governmentally oppressive.

"New Yorkers, in no way wanted this bill to become law, that is why it was rushed through the process in the middle of the night using a message of necessity. A truly fair and transparent government would allow this bill to come to the floor for a vote, but apparently that is not how New York functions.”

April 22, 2015 - 9:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today blasted Assembly Majority members for holding legislation he sponsored in the Committee on Higher Education rather than bringing it to the floor for a vote. In 2009, Hawley introduced Assembly Bill 3093, which seeks to provide free college tuition and expenses for dependent family members of military personnel who lost their lives in the line of duty. The Assembly Majority has never allowed this bill to leave committee and come before the entire house for a vote.  

“I am discouraged by today’s committee vote,” Hawley said. “As a veteran, I know the personal and financial struggles of children who lose their parents in the line of duty. This legislation would lift some of the financial burden that comes with attending college and allow military families more freedom in pursuing their educational aspirations. We owe it to those who have paid the ultimate price to assist their loved ones in any way we can. It is disappointing that Assembly Majority members do not feel the same urgency to support those who sacrificed their lives for us.”

Hawley is a veteran of the Ohio Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves. He has consistently and thoroughly advocated for veterans during his time in the Assembly and currently serves as Ranking Minority Member of the Assembly Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

April 21, 2015 - 10:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today called on legislative leaders and Gov. Cuomo to bring a bill to the Assembly floor for a vote that would strip pension and retirement benefits from corrupt lawmakers. Hawley said this is an issue he and the Assembly Minority Conference have been fighting for the past several years and it is finally time to get tough on ethics reform.  

“As a taxpayer of this state, I am appalled at the amount of money our pension system has given over the past couple of decades to lawmakers and officials convicted of crimes,” Hawley said. “In my view, this has nothing to do with party or position in government; it is commonsense legislation that we need to put the people’s faith back into our government. I have been a sponsor of this legislation for years, because each day we sit idly by is another day we have failed the taxpayers of New York State. I am calling on legislative leaders and members of the Assembly Governmental Operations Committee, where this bill is currently being held, to bring this bill to the Assembly floor for a vote.”

Hawley’s comments come after it was reported by The Journal News that 14 former lawmakers and officials convicted of crimes are being paid a total of about $531,000 per year by the state’s pension system. Over the past 15 years, about $4 million has been paid out in pension benefits to ex-lawmakers and officials convicted of various crimes.

April 13, 2015 - 4:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, steve hawley, common core.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today called on the New York State Education Department (SED) to provide guidance to parents and school districts about the consequences of opting out of Common Core tests and what it could mean for future funding. Hawley said school districts are operating in the dark about what will happen as a result of a large number of students opting out of the upcoming Common Core tests, and that State Ed should provide more information so parents can make informed decisions.  

“I realize that Common Core is an increasingly controversial issue and thousands of students have already opted out of the tests,” Hawley said. “While I respect parents’ rights to opt their children out of the Common Core tests, I do not want them to make a decision that will negatively impact the funding received by their school districts. This is why I am calling on SED to clarify how opting out will impact schools’ funding. At this point, SED has created a complex situation where many factors are still undetermined. It is their obligation to provide direction to schools. SED has an equal responsibility to provide us with accurate information as to how funding will be impacted if a large number of students chose to forgo the state assessments this year.”

Common Core tests for English Language Arts begin tomorrow and Math Assessments begin later this month. In 2014, more than 100,000 students opted out of both the English and Math tests. Schools are required to maintain adequate yearly progress and show 95 percent participation in state assessments for grades three through eight to remain eligible for full Federal funding.

April 9, 2015 - 2:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, educaiton, common core.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today reminded his constituents of their ability to opt out of the Common Core tests. Hawley said the Common Core Standards have been irresponsibly implemented and parents have a right to know that they can refuse to have their children take the tests.  

“As we look forward to the warm weather that April brings, let us not forget that it also brings another round of dreaded Common Core testing,” Hawley said. “With all the conversation surrounding how teacher evaluations will be altered in the 2015-16 State Budget, we are overlooking the bigger issue of Common Core tests. Teachers are still struggling to learn new curriculum requirements, and students fear this time of year as immense pressure is placed on them to succeed on the fairly new methods of testing and learning. I sponsor the Common Core Parental Refusal Act, which mandates that school districts notify parents of their ability to have their children refuse to participate in Common Core tests without penalty to themselves or the school. To learn how you can opt out of Common Core testing, please visit www.childrenbeforepolitics.com/refuse.”

Hawley also commented on how the Assembly Minority Conference’s Achieving Pupil Preparedness & Launching Excellence (APPLE) Plan would address many salient education concerns such as Common Core and teacher evaluations. Assembly Bill 3656 is a bipartisan measure that was reintroduced earlier this year.

“Fortunately, the Assembly Minority Conference’s APPLE plan would address many of these concerns,” Hawley said. “Our plan would suspend Common Core tests for two years and create a commission, consisting of experts from the front lines of education, to evaluate all aspects of Common Core and determine a more suitable way to implement the standards. This legislation has been active since last year but was blocked by members of the Assembly Majority during last year’s session.”

Hawley’s comments come on the eve of Common Core testing which is scheduled to begin later this month. More information can be found about the Assembly Minority APPLE plan at www.childrenbeforepolitics.com/refuse.

April 1, 2015 - 10:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley.

Press release:

“I cannot, in good conscience, support a budget that allows the state to have power over the needs of individual school districts and classrooms. The education component of the budget gives the State Department of Education (SED) too much latitude in implementing the teacher evaluation system. We should have included teacher groups and school administrators in these decisions instead of leaving it up to bureaucrats and armchair educators. Furthermore, this budget makes no mention of exceptions for special education teachers’ evaluations, whose students will likely struggle with Common Core testing, and we will likely see a large number of students score poorly on Common Core Assessments.

“I cannot support budget measures which include funding for the SAFE Act. The Capital Projects and State Operations budget bills appropriate millions to be used for the SAFE Act database and personnel. It is unfortunate that good legislation is often tainted with politically advantageous appropriations. I refuse to vote for legislation that funds an irresponsible and shameful measure that was passed in the middle of the night without public input or adequate time for discussion and debate.”

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