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Steve Hawley

May 20, 2022 - 9:17am
posted by Press Release in Steve Hawley, 139th assembly district, news.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, C, I-Batavia) joined his Assembly Minority colleagues in drafting a letter to Gov. Hochul and New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services Commissioner Rossana Rosado requesting they facilitate an immediate meeting of the Domestic Terrorism Task Force (DTTF) in response to the tragic shooting that took the lives of 10 New Yorkers in Buffalo this past weekend. 

Despite the fact the DTTF was established in 2020, the task force has never met, commissioned any studies or issued a single report, even though the legislation convening the task force had specified they were required to meet on a quarterly basis. The task force was created to collect and disseminate information about how to identify potential mass shooters, protect vulnerable areas they could target and prevent mass shootings, among other responsibilities.

“We owe it to all New Yorkers to take action to prevent terrorists from inflicting further pain on our communities and to learn everything we can about how to prevent hate from animating into violence,” said Hawley, “It is frustrating to think that even as our state has faced a significant increase in violent crime in the last several years, the governor has allowed this task force to sit on their hands and leave us unprepared for tragedies like the one that took place in Buffalo less than a week ago.”

May 9, 2022 - 4:06pm
posted by Press Release in Steve Hawley, 139th assembly district, news.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, C, I-Batavia) today joined his colleagues from the Assembly Minority in calling for the passage of bills that would make playgrounds in New York state accessible to people of all levels of physical ability. One of the bills (A.9923) would require that playgrounds in state parks include at least one wheelchair-accessible platform swing with a high-back, full-support seat, and the other (A.9539) would offer grants to local municipalities to help them purchase and install handicap-accessible elements to local recreation facilities.

“Every child deserves to experience the basic childhood joy of playing on a playground, so today we’re taking a stand to ensure New York’s outdoor recreational centers are places everyone can enjoy,” said Hawley. “If there were ever a simple problem that people of all political backgrounds can get behind, I would think it’d be this, so I am hopeful our colleagues in the Majority will join us to get these bills passed before the end of session.”

May 6, 2022 - 4:15pm
posted by Press Release in Steve Hawley, news, 139th assembly district, unemployment.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, C, I-Batavia) is speaking out following the passage of a bill (A.6666) by the Assembly Majority that would remove requirements for individuals overpaid by the New York state unemployment system to pay back those funds. Hawley believes that the removal of such a requirement could encourage future abuse of the unemployment system and other assistance programs in the future, and that it burdens small businesses whose unemployment insurance costs have skyrocketed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While it is true people make mistakes, offering a blanket forgiveness to those who received this money and weren’t actually eligible sends the wrong message about how seriously our state tries to protect taxpayer dollars,” said Hawley. “This bill will also hurt the small business owners who are forced to pay more for unemployment insurance. This, in turn, could make it harder for them to hire more people and expand their operations.”

Text of the Bill.

May 2, 2022 - 7:57pm
posted by Press Release in Steve Hawley, news, 139th assembly district.

Press release:

“If our colleagues in the Majority acted as fast to combat inflation and restore law and order as they did today to change the rules of our elections to help themselves out at the last minute, our state would truly be a better place for working people.”

April 26, 2022 - 11:28pm
posted by Press Release in Steve Hawley, news, 139th assembly district.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, C, I-Batavia) is expressing dismay at the decision of the Assembly Majority to kill a large number of bills proposed by members of the Assembly Minority that would support New York’s veterans and law enforcement professionals, while also bolstering public safety. 

Among the bills that members of the Majority shot down in committee were ones that would restore judicial discretion that was taken from judges following the passage of bail reform (A.7772, A. 6933), support for veterans living with post-traumatic stress disorder (A.8377), and the creation of a penalty for committing hate crimes against police officers and other emergency personnel (A.3824). Additionally, bills Hawley co-sponsors were blocked, like making it a felony to fire a gun at either police officers or first responders (A.9608), or into crowds generally (A.4259), as well as another that would add five years to the sentence of anyone who commits a felony while in possession of a loaded gun (A.4762).

“I firmly believe that most people would consider the measures the Majority struck down in committee to be common-sense and uncontroversial and very much worthy of an open debate, if nothing else,” said Hawley. “Crime and public safety have consistently ranked among the top policy issues on the minds of New Yorkers this year, and the legislation we put forward directly addresses the concerns held among many regarding bail reform and the restoration of law and order in our communities. It is truly shameful that the Majority has deprived us of the opportunity to debate these bills in the open on their merits, and instead killed them off to protect themselves politically.”

April 26, 2022 - 11:19pm
posted by Press Release in Steve Hawley, news, 139th assembly district.

Press release from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

“Reports that two people have passed in the helicopter crash that took place today in the town of Elba is incredibly saddening, a tragic development to all of us here in Genesee County. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives today, as well as all who were affected by this horrific incident.”

April 22, 2022 - 7:05pm
posted by Press Release in Steve Hawley, dairy, agriculture, news, 139th assembly district.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, C, I-Batavia) is supporting the passage of a bill that would allow New York schools to purchase whole and 2% milk that’s produced within the state, modeled after similar legislation that was recently passed in Pennsylvania. 

While the regulation banning these types of milk was put in place to combat rising trends of childhood obesity rates and type 2 diabetes diagnoses, these trends have only continued following its enactment. Countering the narrative that whole and 2% milk is unhealthy for children, recent studies have shown children who drink full-fat dairy products tend to be leaner than their peers and have a lower risk of becoming overweight. Other studies have found those who consume whole-fat dairy may have a lower risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes, lower blood pressure, increased satiety without weight gain and better sleep.

The removal of these milk options has also had a negative effect on dairy farms throughout upstate New York, which have long counted on revenue from milk sales to schools to keep their businesses operational. Already facing numerous obstacles in maintaining their viability as a business in recent years, including the lowering of the farm laborer overtime threshold, Hawley is hopeful this bill’s passage will help dairy farmers survive these new challenges to their livelihoods.

“The removal of 2% and whole milk from school cafeterias has had nothing but negative impacts on all stakeholders involved, including children and farmers,” said Hawley. “Providing more dairy options to students will only encourage them to get the nutrition their growing bodies need from milk, and help farmers recoup revenue lost since the passage of this ill-conceived prohibition.”

April 13, 2022 - 4:46pm
posted by Press Release in Steve Hawley, 139th assembly district, news.

Press release:

“When your lieutenant governor is arrested for quid pro quo, and your administration has a reputation for making deals behind closed doors, people have a reason to be concerned about what’s really going on in your administration. While I welcome the resignation of Lt. Gov. Benjamin in light of the charges brought against him, I hope more than anything it will give New Yorkers some pause and make them wonder if four scandalous governorships in a row is a sign we’re due for a change in leadership.”

April 12, 2022 - 2:35pm
posted by Press Release in Brian Benjamin, Steve Hawley, news, 139th assembly district.

Press release:

“Mere months after heralding a new era of open, honest and trustworthy government, our governor finds her right-hand man in federal custody, making it evident her declaration was nothing more than hollow rhetoric,” said Hawley. “We’ve now had four consecutive executive administrations in which either the governor or lieutenant governor have come under severe criminal scrutiny, and if that doesn’t tell New Yorkers it’s time for a change in our state government, I don’t know what would.”

Further reading: Lt. Gov. Benjamin Arrested in Campaign Finance Scheme

April 11, 2022 - 1:40pm

New York State lawmakers are close to an agreement to suspend a portion of gasoline taxes for the last seven months of this year, but similar action by most county governments doesn’t seem to be in the works.

“I know the state is looking at doing it, and they're doing it, but I don't anticipate too many county governments doing this,” County Manager Matt Landers said today. “I don’t know where Erie and Monroe (counties) stand on this.”

News out of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office signals that the state will drop the price of a gallon of gas by about 4 percent -- approximately 16 cents per gallon of gas -- from June 1 through Dec. 31. On a 15-gallon fill-up, the savings to the consumer would be $2.40.

Landers said a recent informal poll of county administrators revealed that most were not looking at suspending their 4 percent (or so) sales tax from the price of gasoline.

“I don’t remember, specifically, which counties responded but all the ones that did said that was not something currently on their radar,” he said, while adding that a "discussion" about this subject with Genesee County legislators is likely to occur.

Sales tax accounts for a significant portion of county budgets. In Genesee’s case, sales tax proceeds are being earmarked for large capital projects, such as the construction of a new county jail.

The state tax break will reduce its revenue by about $600 million this year, but Hochul said that money received for pandemic relief and higher than anticipated tax revenue would enable it to handle the loss.

Reports indicate the state would suspend the 8-cent per gallon motor fuel tax and the 8-cent per gallon sales tax on gasoline.

State Assemblyman Stephen Hawley today said Republicans supported legislation to remove 33 cents from the cost of a gallon of gas, as well as state sales tax breaks on home cleaning supplies, clothing and food.

“With a $220.4 billion budget, we’ve got plenty of cash in a rainy day fund,” he said. “Some of what we proposed didn’t fall on deaf ears, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s not enough. We’ve got all kinds of surpluses, apparently, according to the governor.”

Hawley said he’s always been in favor of “giving that back to people so they can spend it in their communities, as opposed to sending it to the state where they can fritter it away.”

He added that the federal government is “going to be doing something as well – so, stay tuned on that.”

When asked if county governments should follow suit, he said they were given the opportunity, but understands municipalities’ reliance on sales tax to balance their budgets.

“That’s a large source of their revenue, so that’s not surprising at all,” he said.

April 10, 2022 - 2:28pm
posted by Press Release in Steve Hawley, 139th assembly district, news.

Press release:

“As the Majority passes another record-breaking budget, costing taxpayers $220,000,000,000, more than what Florida and Texas spend on their budgets combined, I'm left wishing their ambition to protect public safety was as strong as it is to test our state’s fiscal limits,” said Hawley. “New Yorkers needed decisive action to be taken to lift our economy and restore public order, but instead, they were given a band-aid budget full of half-measures that will make little impact on the well-being of everyday people. We should be working to slash wasteful spending and aim for austerity in our budget, not worsen the spending spree our state has been on for far too long.”

April 6, 2022 - 2:18pm
posted by Press Release in Steve Hawley, health, news, 139th assembly district.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today joined his colleagues for a press conference in which Sen. George Borrello (SD-57), Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C,I-Schoharie), and Assemblyman Michael Lawler (R,C,I,SAM-Pearl River) announced their lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a Department of Health regulation establishing isolation and quarantine procedures for those suspected of having a communicable disease. Hawley and those who’ve brought the lawsuit forward assert its implementation through the regulatory process violates the separation of powers.

Regulation 10 NYCRR 2.13 would empower the Department of Health to forcibly isolate and quarantine individuals exposed to communicable diseases, potentially in locations that aren’t their homes. Adopted on Feb. 22, 2022, the New York State Department of Health’s Public Health and Health Planning Council is set to renew the rule on an emergency basis today. Steps have also been taken by the council to make the regulation permanent.

“The role of the Legislature is to protect the public from dangerous policies like this, which would never survive scrutinous debate in the Assembly,” said Hawley. “When a bill containing most of the same measures this rule does was put before the Assembly in years past (A.416, Perry), it had only a single sponsor, so it seems to me the governor is truly trying to subvert our constitutionally-sanctioned legislative process to put this proposal into law. By subverting the Legislature, the governor has silenced the voices of the people they represent, who almost certainly would not wish to grant their government this overreaching authority.”

April 1, 2022 - 4:32pm
posted by Press Release in COVID-19, news, Steve Hawley, 139th assembly district.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) announced today that he is distributing COVID-19 tests allocated to his office to towns, villages and cities within the 139th Assembly District. Residents seeking test kits are encouraged to go to their local municipal center in order to secure test kits for themselves and their families.

“We thought distributing these test kits to local municipalities would be the best means of getting them into the hands of families who need them most,” said Hawley. “I hope that this distribution will give families a good chance to get ahead of any future COVID-19 spikes, and keep their families prepared for whatever the future may hold.”

April 1, 2022 - 4:30pm
posted by Press Release in Steve Hawley, 139th assembly district, news.

Press release:

“The failure to pass a timely budget when so much is on the line for public safety and people’s personal financial well-being speaks to the inability of Gov. Hochul to effectively lead the majorities and deliver results for the working people of New York state. Further inaction on their part to fix bail reform or provide inflation relief will only bring more suffering for our state’s residents, so they had better get their act together quickly.”

March 29, 2022 - 4:49pm
posted by Press Release in bail reform, Steve Hawley, 139th assembly district, news.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) joined his colleagues from the Senate and Assembly Minorities in calling on Gov. Hochul and the legislative Majority to amend the state’s bail reform law, seeking to restore judicial discretion that would empower judges to keep criminals they know to be dangerous off of our streets. Hawley has spoken out against the danger this law poses to communities since it was first passed in 2019, horrified by reports that have emerged throughout the state of violent acts being perpetrated by offenders released, sometimes repeatedly, due to bail reform.

“So long as innocent people continue to get hurt by those who should not be walking free in our neighborhoods, I will continue to demand the restoration of the discretion that was taken away from our judges in 2019,” said Hawley. “As we now work to pass our state’s budget, I feel we have a real opportunity to restore order and save lives. Gov. Hochul’s proposed changes to the law may be a good start, but when we’re talking about matters of literal life and death, we can’t afford to do any less than finally fix this law once and for all to protect our communities.”

March 25, 2022 - 5:01pm
posted by Press Release in Steve Hawley, news, 139th assembly district.

mcd_8476.jpg

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia), an Army veteran and member of the Assembly Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, joined other members of the New York state Assembly yesterday for a ceremony held in the chamber to honor cadets from the United States Military Academy at West Point. An annual tradition within the state Assembly, this was the first West Point Day to take place in two years following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The cadets of West Point embody the bright future of our nation, and every year we’re able to hold this ceremony I’m honored to have the opportunity to commend them for their dedication to our country and wish them well as future leaders within our military, our government and our communities,” said Hawley. “I was very happy to see West Point Day return to the chamber this year, and hope it will take place without further interruption in the future.”

Submitted photo: Hawley shakes the hand of Col. Kwenton Kuhlman, Director of the Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic at West Point on Mar. 24, 2022.

March 22, 2022 - 4:22pm
posted by Press Release in Steve Hawley, 139th assembly district, news.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) joined his Assembly Minority colleagues in calling for the passage of legislation (A.9095) that would amend the state Constitution to reserve the right to vote in state elections to American citizens. 

Their push to pass the legislation comes in response to the passage of a policy by the New York City Council that allows non-citizens to vote in the city’s elections. Concerned that similar efforts could be undertaken in the future by progressive, activist lawmakers to implement such a policy at the state level, Hawley and his colleagues aim to bolster election integrity by passing this bill.

“The places we live, how we provide for ourselves and our families, and the laws we live by are molded by the elections that determine our representatives in government,” said Hawley. “Allowing people who are here illegally to have a say in our laws places criminals before law-abiding citizens. More than that, it will make it even more difficult to ensure the integrity of our elections, jeopardizing the faith people have in state government itself.”

March 20, 2022 - 6:20pm
posted by Press Release in 2nd Amendment, Steve Hawley, 139th assembly district, news.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is slamming proposed legislation (A.9563) that would establish an excise tax on ammunition purchased in the state, costing sportsmen an extra two to five cents per round. These funds would be deposited into a gun violence research fund, and while proponents of the legislation argue hunters and others who enjoy shooting sports should contribute to efforts that mitigate the harm caused by firearms, Hawley argues such a tax would be an unconstitutional, onerous burden that infringes upon the Second Amendment rights of New Yorkers.

“If tomorrow it was proposed that the faithful be made to pay to freely worship, or that anyone who wanted to espouse a controversial opinion be taxed in order to mitigate the consequences of them doing so, such bills would be dismissed with disgrace,” said Hawley. “When we take our oaths of office to protect and defend our U.S. Constitution as state lawmakers, we make a commitment to defend the document in its entirety, so it’s a shame the Second Amendment has become something members of the Majority feel can be consciously ignored in their policymaking. 

“While those in support of this bill argue that taxing ammunition by just a few cents a round does not place a substantive financial burden on sportsmen, the implementation of financial barriers of any kind to exercise constitutional rights sets a dangerous precedent that could enable the nickel-and-diming of our fundamental liberties in the future. This latest attempt to stifle criminality by inconveniencing the law-abiding may be the most dangerous we’ve seen in some time, and I’d encourage this bill’s sponsors to reflect deeply on the implications its enactment could have on the protection of their favored rights within our constitution.”

March 19, 2022 - 5:54pm

jaclboshalwylrath2022.jpg

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27), NYS Senator Ed Rath (R,C,I - Amherst), and NYS Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) held a press conference this morning to call on Governor Hochul to reject the NYS Farm Laborers Wage Board’s decision to lower the overtime threshold from 60 hours a week to 40 hours.

“Farming is already a business suffering from labor shortages with incredibly tight margins, if the Governor were to accept this decision it would have disastrous impacts on the viability of agriculture in our state and the security of our rural economies,” Jacobs said. “Lowering the threshold would force producers and workers out of our state, and bankrupt generation family farms. I urge the Governor to reject this decision – made at the expense of our farmers – our region’s future prosperity depends on it.”

"The decision by the Farm Laborers Wage Board to lower overtime hours from 60 to 40 hours is fatal to our farms. As the largest industry in New York, agriculture is a vital part of our Upstate community. With this overtime change, many family farms will not survive. I have spoken with countless farmers and farm workers who have shared their concerns with this hour reduction. I remain deeply troubled by this decision and the impact it will have, not only in my district but across our State," Rath said.

“Our state’s agribusinesses and rural communities are staring down the edge of a cliff as they eagerly wait to see whether Gov. Hochul will stand up for them, or for the special interests who’ve been pushing this policy through the bureaucratic process,” Hawley said. “Farmers, lawmakers, farm laborers and experts alike have made clear the devastating consequences this decision will have on agriculture. In this moment, Gov. Hochul has the power to save agriculture in New York state, or put it down a path that will cause it to become something completely unrecognizable. Having represented a rural part of upstate New York in Congress, I sincerely hope she understands how dangerous this decision would be not just for farmers, but for rural communities throughout the state.”

Jacobs recently joined the New York Republican Congressional Delegation in sending a letter to Governor Hochul outlining the disastrous impacts of this recommendation from the wage board and urging her to reject it. You can read that letter here.

March 16, 2022 - 3:27pm
posted by Press Release in SUNY Brockport, Steve Hawley, news, 139th assembly district.

Press release:

“While colleges and universities are indeed places where uncomfortable conversations about controversial subjects should take place, I am deeply disappointed that members of the SUNY Brockport Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion have decided to invite Anthony Bottom, a convicted cop-killer, onto campus while framing his experiences as those of a ‘political prisoner,’ all while using taxpayer grant funding to do so. It is nothing less than a slap in the face for the family of the two officers he murdered, as well as those serving currently in law enforcement who face very real threats from individuals like him daily in their work.

“In speaking with administrators of SUNY Brockport, I have been reassured this decision was one that was spearheaded by a subcommittee consisting of several faculty members in conjunction with the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Unless Mr. Bottom plans on speaking about how remorseful he is for his actions, he has no place on a SUNY campus, especially not as a paid speaker. I very much so hope a closer review of grant applications will be forthcoming.”

UPDATE:

Press release from Chris Jacobs:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) was joined by Representatives Stefanik (NY-21), Malliotakis (NY-11), Garbarino (NY-02), Tenney (NY-22), Zeldin (NY-01), Reed (NY-23), and Katko (NY-24) in calling for SUNY Brockport to rescind its invitation to Jalil Muntaqim (a.k.a. Anthony Bottom) to deliver a speech entitled, "History of Black Resistance, U.S. Political Prisoners & Genocide: A Conversation with Jalil Muntaqim."

“As members of Congress representing thousands of brave police officers throughout New York State – we find it unsettling that a taxpayer funded College would believe it is acceptable to give a platform to an individual who was convicted of murdering two law enforcement officers, Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones, in cold blood, especially at a time when violent murders and ambushes of police have skyrocketed in this nation,” the Representatives wrote.

Jalil Muntaqim was convicted of the 1971 murders of NYPD Officers Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones. Muntaqim, along with others, ambushed the patrolmen after they were lured into public housing using a phony 911 call.

“We urge SUNY Brockport to withdraw its invitation to Jalil Muntaqim immediately and to apologize to the families of Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones as well as every law enforcement officer in our state,” the Representatives said.

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