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Steve Hawley

September 15, 2022 - 1:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in patriot trip, Steve Hawley, 139th assembly district, news.

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Two busloads of veterans are heading to Washington D.C. today as part of Assemblyman Steve Hawley's annual Patriot Trip.  They left early this morning from the Batavia Downs parking lot.

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September 8, 2022 - 12:42am
posted by Press Release in farm labor, Steve Hawley, 139th assembly district, news.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, C, I-Batavia) is expressing disappointment following a decision by the Farm Laborers Wage Board to advance a recommendation to Commissioner of Labor Roberta Reardon to lower the farm laborer overtime threshold from 60 hours to 40. For months, Hawley has stood alongside farmers, farm workers, agricultural advocates, owners of agri-businesses and other lawmakers to call on the board to reject a proposed reduction to the overtime threshold, warning of the devastating effects such a decision would have on rural communities and all who work in the agricultural sector. 

As the board considered whether or not to implement a lower threshold, they collected testimony regarding the proposal during a series of virtual hearings. During those hearings, the vast majority of testimony provided by farmers and farm workers opposed its implementation, warning that it threatened the livelihoods of both farm owners and laborers. 

The concerns expressed by those opposed to lowering the threshold have been corroborated by a number of studies, as a report by Farm Credit East has stated that the total cost of lowering the overtime threshold to 40 hours, coupled with minimum wage increases, would result in an increase in labor costs by over 40 percent for New York’s farms. Another study by Cornell University found that 70 percent of New York farm labor guest workers would not return to New York were the threshold to be lowered and would instead seek work in other states where they have the opportunity to work longer hours.

Following the advancement of the Wage Board’s final report and recommendation, the fate of the farm overtime threshold rests in the hands of Reardon, who has 45 days to decide whether to accept or reject it.

“Now that the fate of farming as we know it here in New York state has been put in jeopardy by the Wage Board, even after hearing how their decision will jeopardize the livelihoods of thousands of farmers and farm laborers, I sincerely hope that Commissioner Reardon will step in to prevent what would prove to be a catastrophic event for rural communities and the entire agricultural sector,” said Hawley. “Lowering this threshold helps nobody while threatening the existence of multi-generational family farms and an entire way of life, so I sincerely hope that ultimately both the threshold and the continued viability of our farms will be preserved.”

August 23, 2022 - 1:51pm
posted by Press Release in Steve Hawley, 139th assembly district, news.

Press release:

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), a national organization that advocates for the needs of small and independently-owned businesses, has announced that Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, C, I-Batavia) has received their perfect rating of 100%. This perfect pro-business rating reflects Assemblyman Hawley’s unwavering support of small business owners, both through his advocacy efforts and his legislative voting history.

“As a small business owner myself, I can tell you that especially in New York state, building and sustaining a successful business can be as difficult as it is rewarding,” said Hawley. “We are incredibly fortunate to have organizations such as the NFIB to stand up for and support our small business owners, so I am honored to have earned their perfect rating.”

August 17, 2022 - 4:19pm
posted by Press Release in patriot trip, Steve Hawley, 139th assembly district, news.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, C, I-Batavia) is announcing there are still several openings available to take part in his Patriot Trip to Washington, D.C., taking place from Sept. 15 to 18, 2002. Veterans and their family members will be hosted on a tour throughout the area to visit historical sites and landmarks constructed to pay tribute to their service and the nation they’ve fought for. This year’s trip will feature stops at war memorials and other notable locations, including the Arlington National Cemetery, and the World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War memorials, with a stop in Gettysburg.

“Some of the most meaningful memories of my lifetime come from experiences I’ve had on our Patriot Trips witnessing heroes who’ve risked their lives to defend our country get to see the monuments built to honor their bravery and sacrifices,” said Hawley. “After having to pause the tour due to the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am very excited to begin our trips once more and encourage all interested to look into joining us on this incredibly meaningful journey.”

Participation in the trip is open to all military veterans and their family members and will cost between $425 to $500 per person. Those interested in participating in this year’s trip are encouraged to reach out to Assemblyman Hawley’s district office at 585-589-5780 for more details. 

Assemblyman Hawley encourages those interested, or who knows someone who might be interested but who may need financial assistance, to contact their local veterans’ services agency. They may be able to provide some assistance, so Hawley encourages those interested to reach out to their county’s agency using the numbers below:

August 15, 2022 - 9:23am
posted by Press Release in Steve Hawley, 139th assembly district, news.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, C, I-Batavia) is imploring his colleagues in the Assembly and Senate to take action to save high school trap shooting competitions before a law (A.41001) takes effect Sept. 1 that would prohibit firearm possession in “sensitive locations,” which include all sporting events. This would also imperil the ability of sportsmen’s clubs and other sporting organizations to hold competitions for shooting sports, many of which are often held to support charitable causes.

In order to modify the law to address this effective ban on shooting sports events, the Legislature would need to convene for a special session before it takes effect in September. Assemblyman Hawley is encouraging residents to sign a petition, linked here, that is calling on Gov. Hochul and her colleagues in the Legislative Majority to take action to prevent the banning of high school trap shooting competitions.

“Trap shooting is one of the safest sporting activities our young people take part in, which also promotes an understanding and respect for firearms and their safe handling,” said Hawley. “Moreover, this bill as written threatens the existence of competitive shooting sports categorically, a celebrated tradition enjoyed throughout New York state by spectators and sportsmen alike for centuries. I don’t believe anyone in our Legislature sees clay-pigeon shooting contests as a threat to public safety, so I sincerely hope we can come together and agree to fix what is a clear error in this legislation as it was passed.”

August 4, 2022 - 5:40pm
posted by Press Release in Steve Hawley, 139th assembly district, news.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, C, I-Batavia) is urging lawmakers to consider options to reduce state spending following a report by the Division of Budget predicting the state will face projected budget gaps totaling $13.7 billion over the next five years. 

Additionally, the assemblyman is imploring action to be taken to ensure the state’s small business owners are not made to bear the burden of the Legislative Majority’s fiscal irresponsibility. To this end, he is sponsoring a bill (A.7211) that would suspend employer contributions to the interest assessment surcharge fund through 2023, a fund created to help the state repay money borrowed from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic that business owners have been required to contribute to regularly.

This change in the Division of Budget’s economic forecast was spurred by an expected decline in tax revenue caused by recent downturns in the stock market and economy as a whole. For years, Hawley has criticized the Majority for their egregious spending, pointing to the fact that several of the state’s recent budgets have been larger than those of Texas and Florida combined, with this year’s record-breaking budget amounting to $220 billion in total spending.

“Just as millions of Americans are preparing to do in these next few months, it is high time our state tighten its belt and take a hard look at how we can cut waste while still taking care of our residents’ basic needs,” said Hawley. “Whether you look at red states like Texas or blue states like California, they spend far less per capita in their budgets, and I’m certain we could provide a similar value to our taxpayers. In any case, we must work to ensure that our state’s already-strained small business owners are not left to pick up the bill that’s accumulated after years of overspending by the Legislative Majority.”

Assemblyman Hawley represents the 139th District, which consists of Genesee, Orleans and parts of Monroe County. For more information, please visit Assemblyman Hawley’s Official Website.

July 28, 2022 - 3:46pm
posted by Press Release in Steve Hawley, 139th assembly district, news, farm labor.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is encouraging constituents to reach out to Labor Commissioner Reardon and Gov. Hochul in the wake of an announcement that the Farm Laborer Wage Board will reconvene on Sept. 6 to vote on whether or not they will advance a final report recommending the farm laborer overtime threshold be lowered from 60 hours to 40. It has been projected by Farm Credit East that farmers’ labor costs could rise by over 40% over the next several years if the overtime threshold is lowered, jeopardizing their continued viability.

The wage board recommended lowering the farm laborer threshold this January, but still has not released a final report containing regulatory recommendations. If they do stick to their earlier recommendation in their final report, it will be Labor Commissioner Reardon’s decision whether or not to accept or reject their recommendations within 45 days of when they’re issued. If Reardon advances recommendations to lower the threshold, Gov. Hochul would then need to choose whether or not they should be signed into law.

“The fate of agriculture as we know it in our state, from the fields to our store shelves, rests in the hands of the Labor Wage Board, our governor, and Labor Commissioner Reardon,” said Hawley. “Farmers from all corners of the state have made it clear that a lowering of the threshold will threaten the well-being of rural communities whose economies have for centuries centered around farming and agriculture. Agri-business owners, farmers and rural advocates have made the dangerous consequences of this decision incredibly clear, so I only hope that the Wage Board, Commissioner Reardon, and Gov. Hochul will do what’s right for our farms and agrarian municipalities.”

Hawley is encouraging anyone concerned for the future of New York’s farms, rural communities and food security to reach out to Labor Commissioner Reardon and Gov. Hochul to urge them not to move forward with this reduction in the farm laborer overtime threshold.

Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon office contact:

Phone: 518-457-9000

Twitter: @NYSDOLCommish

Mailing address:

Roberta Reardon
Commissioner
Department of Labor
State Office Bldg # 12
W.A. Harriman Campus
Albany, NY 12240

Gov. Hochul office contact

Online contact form: https://www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form

Phone: 518-474-8390

Twitter: @GovKathyHochul

Mailing address: 

The Honorable Kathy Hochu
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

July 26, 2022 - 11:16pm
posted by Press Release in bail reform, Steve Hawley, news, 139th assembly district.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is renewing his call to restore judicial discretion by rolling back the state’s bail reform law following a series of violent incidents that occurred in the state last week, including the shooting of two Rochester Police Department officers and the attempted stabbing of gubernatorial candidate and Congressman Lee Zeldin (NY-1). 

Hawley was especially concerned by news that Zeldin’s attacker was released from custody following the assault due to the state’s bail reform law, which considers assault in the 2nd degree, the crime Zeldin’s assailant was charged with, to be a non-violent felony. While the suspect would later be arrested under a federal charge for assaulting a member of Congress using a dangerous weapon, Hawley is deeply troubled by the fact that in the absence of federal action, state law would allow the attacker to continue walking freely today.

“Horrific incidents like these seem to be happening more and more often in our state,” said Hawley. “This isn’t normal, and we cannot continue to allow bail reform to tie the hands of our judges and further erode respect for laws and law enforcement. Harmful actions must have consequences, and bail reform has been letting dangerous individuals get away with far too much for far too long. We cannot allow regular violence against our people, our leaders, and our law enforcement to be accepted as a fact of life in New York, because people deserve to feel safe in the communities they call home.”

June 26, 2022 - 1:54pm

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Assemblyman Steve Hawley hosted the annual electronics recycling event in the Department of Social Services parking lot on East Main Street Road in Batavia on Saturday morning.

Again this year, appointments were required to drop off old TVs, computers, stereos, and other electronics but the parking lot was still jammed with cars lining up to have their trunks, pickup beds, and hatchbacks unloaded.

Photos by Howard Owens.

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June 14, 2022 - 10:54pm
posted by Press Release in Steve Hawley, news, 139th assembly district.

Press release:

As another legislative session comes to a close, the people of New York have once again been left on the hook with a $220 billion budget that’s more bloated than ever before. It seems with every year the Majority passes budgets that cost more but do less for the average working family in this state, and while the small tax cuts in this year’s plan were welcome, they simply won't be enough to give New Yorkers the financial jolt they need now more than ever. As prices on just about everything continue to skyrocket with no end in sight, I am disappointed that solutions our conference proposed to bring our residents substantive relief were not considered in earnest. 

Our Inflation Relief and Consumer Assistance Plan (A.8481) would make everyday necessities, such as gasoline, prepared foods, household goods and personal care products, state tax-free for two years. The savings provided by this bill would be immediate and, perhaps most importantly, would help those hit hardest by inflation, some of whom have had to make hard decisions between paying for rent or groceries. 

As if the financial strain affecting our communities wasn’t enough to contend with, people now feel less safe than ever in their own communities. According to a recent poll conducted by Spectrum News and Siena College, 7 in 10 New York City residents fear they may become a victim of violent crime. Their sentiments are also shared statewide, according to another Siena poll, finding that our residents are more concerned about crime than any other singular issue. 

We need to restore respect for laws and law enforcement. We need to help victims, not criminals, and we need to restore judicial discretion. Our constituents were counting on us to fix bail reform, and it’s saddening that they will now be the ones who will suffer the consequences of its shortcomings in their neighborhoods. 

I only hope that this November every voter will remember who stood up for their wallets and their neighborhoods by demanding direct solutions, and those who instead put forward half-measures and downplayed their suffering.

June 3, 2022 - 3:49pm
posted by Press Release in news, Steve Hawley, 139th assembly district.

Press release from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

“As prices and crime continue to rise in tandem here in New York, I am saddened that throughout this legislative session the Majority has been unwilling to help us address the real concerns of everyday people,” said Hawley. “It only goes to show that under one-party rule, helping people put food on their tables, gas in their cars and live lives free of crime and violence just aren’t priorities for them.”

May 26, 2022 - 3:46pm
posted by Press Release in patriot trip, Steve Hawley, 139th assembly district, news.

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Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, C, I-Batavia) is announcing the resumption of his Patriot Trip to Washington, D.C., taking place from Sept. 15 to 18, where veterans and their family members are hosted on a tour throughout the area to visit many historical sites and landmarks erected to pay tribute to their service to America. This year’s trip will feature stops at war memorials and other notable locations throughout the DC area, including the Arlington National Cemetery, as well as the World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War memorials. The trip also stops in Gettysburg.

Participation in the trip is open to all military veterans and their family members and will cost between $400-500 per person. Those interested in participating in this year’s trip are encouraged to reach out to Assemblyman Hawley’s district office at 585-589-5780 for more details.

“Every year, taking veterans to the memorials built to honor their service is one of the most fulfilling experiences I partake in, and I am incredibly excited to have the opportunity to do it again this year,” said Hawley. “Our veterans are the reason we are able to peacefully enjoy all this country has to offer, so it’s been my honor to take them to see some of the most awe-inspiring, historical places in our nation over the years.”

Submitted photo: Hawley stands alongside veterans at the Korean War Memorial in Washington D.C. during the 12th Patriot Trip in 2019.

May 23, 2022 - 6:03pm
posted by Press Release in Steve Hawley, 139th assembly district, news, COVID-19.

Press release

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, C, I-Batavia) is announcing that he will be making COVID-19 home test kits available through his office for free to any local organizations that could assist in distributing them to people who need them. Any groups interested in obtaining test kits are encouraged to reach out to the Assemblyman’s office at 585-589-5780 to learn more details and schedule a pickup.

“When it comes to COVID-19, we never truly know what lies ahead, and as the Boy Scouts say, it’s wise to ‘be prepared,’” said Hawley. “I encourage any and all local organizations that could put these tests to use to reach out and take advantage of this opportunity.”

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.”

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