Hawley’s Albany Update

Committee assignments matter for Western New York
March 22, 2007

While in Albany, part of my responsibilities include sitting on Assembly Standing Committees that address a variety of issues affecting New York state and Western New York. From job growth, property taxation, caring for the elderly and agricultural viability, it is my commitment to ensure the interests of the 139th Assembly District are understood and acted upon by my fellow committee members.

For 2007, I have been appointed as the Ranking Minority member of the Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee as well as the Social Services Committee. I also hold seats on the Aging, Agriculture, Veterans Affairs, and Economic Development Committees.

As the Ranking Minority Member of the Corporations, Public Authorities and Commissions Committee, I support legislation to improve accountability and oversight of public authorities to save taxpayers’ money. It is essential for state government to provide effective delivery of service so that tax dollars are used as efficiently as possible.

On the Aging Committee, we cover an array of topics affecting the senior citizen population including real property taxation, health care, and community-based services. In this committee, I am dedicated to providing an affordable way of life for Western New York seniors. I understand the strains of soaring property taxes and prescription drug costs and aim to end these burdensome expenses so that seniors may enjoy their years of retirement free of financial hardship.

Representing a district that relies on a healthy agricultural industry for jobs, economic stability, and alternative fuel development, I support legislation in the Agriculture Committee that encourages the use, research, and development of alternative energies that rely on resources grown on New York state farms. We have the resources in our own backyard to lead New York into the future of alternative energy. It is important that we continue to make strides in ending our dependence on foreign oil and develop a strategy for future energy independence.

In 2007, the Committee on Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry will consider a great deal of legislation that focuses on revitalizing the upstate economy. As a small-business owner and committee member, I am committed to fighting for legislation that will create jobs and provide a better business climate for potential employers. We need to reverse the trend of young people leaving our state for lower living costs and better opportunities. I believe that can be achieved by making New York state more competitive in the global economy through reducing the cost of doing business in this state.

As a retired member of the U.S. Army National Guard and Army Reserves, I am committed to ensuring veterans and active duty military personnel have the assistance they need that properly demonstrates our appreciation for their bravery and heroic service. On the Veterans Affairs Committee, I support legislation that provides performance of duty-disability retirement benefits for state and local employees who are members of the military and are injured in combat, and allows additional military documentation to be eligible for the Veterans Real Property Tax exemption.

Collectively, these committees represent a very diverse constituency, each with specific needs and concerns. However, I am confident goals can be reached by working in the spirit of bipartisanship and for the betterment of all New Yorkers.

As always, I encourage you to call, write, or e-mail me at my Albany or Albion office to discuss your suggestions and ideas for a better New York. I take each of your requests very seriously and do my best to answer you promptly and with as much information as possible. I look forward to seeing many of you at my Town Hall Meeting Series throughout the year and gaining a better vision for New York through your perspective.