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steve hawley

February 12, 2021 - 2:28pm
posted by Press Release in steve hawley, Andrew Cuomo, news, nursing home deaths.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley speaks on bombshell New York Post report that Gov. Andrew 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," Hawley said. "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.”

February 11, 2021 - 9:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, news, batavia, veterans, NYS Veterans Home.
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Press release: 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley 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,” Hawley said.

“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.”

February 11, 2021 - 11:44am

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley 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 coronavirus 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. 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,” Hawley said.

“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.”

February 9, 2021 - 2:00pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley has been awarded the New York Beef Producers Association 2020 Friend in Government award, which he received Feb. 5 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. 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,” Hawley said.

“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.”

February 8, 2021 - 1:31pm
posted by Press Release in steve hawley, Andrew Cuomo, news, nursing homes.

From 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 3, 2021 - 5:45pm

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley 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.

It revealed the department was undercounting COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50 percent.

Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay, Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt, “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,” Hawley said.

“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.”

January 29, 2021 - 12:36pm

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is demanding a legislative hearing regarding the handling of the coronavirus 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 (personal protective equipment) 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,” Hawley said.

“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.”

January 26, 2021 - 4:46pm

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley 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,” Hawley said.

"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."

January 20, 2021 - 11:37am
posted by Press Release in news, steve hawley, 2022 NYS Executive Budget Address.

Press release:

“Over the course of an hour today (Jan. 19) the Governor got on TV and continued to blame everyone and everything but himself for our state’s financial woes," said Assemblyman Steve Hawley. "Instead of threatening to sue the federal government if they don’t do enough to bail us out of the mess the Governor had a great deal to do with, he should be talking about what we can do ourselves to cut wasteful spending, because we can’t always rely on Washington to save us from our Governor’s bad spending habits.

"What New Yorkers needed to hear was a detailed plan to work with local governments to distribute vaccines effectively, save our small businesses and help families keep food on their tables, but all they got today were a few helpful proposals mixed among a sea of wasteful ones, including a proposal to spend $10 million this year on helping illegal immigrants pay their legal fees. Now more than ever we need to tighten our belts fiscally and focus on what matters, and I am disappointed today’s budget address did neither.”

January 19, 2021 - 2:32pm

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley 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,” Hawley said.

“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.”

January 17, 2021 - 12:27pm
posted by Press Release in steve hawley, vaccine distribution plans, news, coronavirus.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley joined his colleagues in the Assembly Minority on Friday 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 coronavirus 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,” Hawley said.

“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.”

January 15, 2021 - 3:08pm

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley announced today with his Assembly Minority colleagues the “Jump-Start New York” plan for economic recovery.

It's a comprehensive package of legislative proposals that would restore the power of the Legislature by reining in Gov. Cuomo’s executive powers and focus New York’s available financial resources toward economic recovery for “nonessential” small businesses that have lost income due to the governor’s pandemic restrictions through direct aid grants. 

“This package of legislation does exactly what we need to be doing right now in our state, getting the Legislature back to work for the communities they represent and helping the small businesses and families within those communities that have suffered for far too long under onerous restrictions imposed by the governor using his expanded powers,” Hawley said. 

The program’s funds would be drawn from unallocated settlement funds and capital programs such as START-UP NY, and additional stimulus would be made available by making small businesses eligible for the Film Tax Credit.

Additionally, these small businesses would be granted a 180-day grace period to remedy regulatory violations without being fined and also be granted an extra 180 days to file their sales taxes. The legislative package would assist “nonessential” businesses located within the governor’s Red and Orange Zones by prompting a reevaluation of the businesses that could open, while maintaining proper social distancing practices.

In addition, Jump-Start New York would give targeted relief to farmers and renters who have had their incomes impacted by Gov. Cuomo’s restrictions during COVID-19. Landlords who have gone without income would receive a tax credit to help offset their losses, while farmers would see regulatory expenses and requirements loosened and eligibility standards for funding broadened.

The package would also assist farmers and rural business owners in general by expanding rural broadband access, which would help them expand their markets among other benefits.

“Focusing available financial resources on our small businesses that have been struggling to remain operational is just common sense, so I’m hopeful we see ‘Jump-Start New York’ get passed for the sake of the small business owners and their employees who have had their lives upended this last year,” Hawley said.

January 12, 2021 - 1:08pm
posted by Press Release in steve hawley, 2021 NY State of the State Address, cuomo.

Press release from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

“(Jan. 11) 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," Hawley said.

"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 6, 2021 - 5:33pm
posted by Press Release in steve hawley, news, Washington, D.C., violence.

A statement this afternoon from Assemblyman Steve Hawley about violence in the nation's capitol today:

"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."

January 4, 2021 - 4:50pm

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley 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,” Hawley said. “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 29, 2020 - 1:03pm

Press release:

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 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. 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.

December 22, 2020 - 1:42pm

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley 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 reappointed 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,” Hawley said.

December 18, 2020 - 12:50pm
posted by Press Release in steve hawley, news, coronavirus, cuomo, emergency powers, A.10546.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley 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,” Hawley said. “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.”


Dear Legislative Leaders:

December 15, 2020

As we near the end of 2020 with a new legislative session quickly approaching, members of the Assembly Minority Conference are eager for an immediate return to the principles and processes of representative democracy on which our Constitution and our country were built.

Since March, Governor Cuomo has used his expanded emergency powers to implement, and then extend, numerous directives. We believe this grossly exceeds his executive authority.

As you know, Chapter 23 of the Laws of 2020 authorized a $40 million emergency appropriation for the state to make necessary preparations to deal with the coronavirus outbreak. Also included in that legislationwas a measure to add “disease outbreak” to the list of emergencies by which the governor assumedexpanded authorities.

While the law granted the governor the ability to issue emergency directives, it did not empower him with the statutory authority to extend directives for an additional 30 days, which is permitted for the suspensions of laws.

Therefore, we are calling on you to review the legal authority granted to the governor and seek input from legislative colleagues on how to proceed in the best interest of all New Yorkers. At the first possible opportunity – hopefully on the first day of the 2021 Legislative Session, if not sooner – we encourage the passage of legislation such as A.10546, which would limit the governor’s expanded powers anddramatically increase local authority during future emergencies.

This has been a year that none of us will forget. You, and all the members of the Legislature, have worked tirelessly to provide help to so many constituents in crisis. Those efforts will certainly continue as we move into the new session and new calendar.

December 7, 2020 - 7:55am

From Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

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.

November 4, 2020 - 3:32pm
posted by Press Release in 139th assembly district, steve hawley, election 2020, news.

From 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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