Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, I, C – Batavia) joined a massive convoy of truckers in rallying for the Assembly Speaker, Sheldon Silver, to bring to vote legislation that would create a cap on the state’s taxes on gasoline. At Hawley’s request, the hundreds of supporters standing along the east steps of the State Capitol made calls from their cell phones asking the Speaker to join the rally and to bring the legislation to a vote.
“To all my friends in agriculture and in trucking, and to all residents of the state, you need to know we are always trying to get Shelly Silver to do the right thing for the common people. Call him right now and ask him to do some work on behalf of the working people in New York State,” said Hawley. Following the Assemblyman’s comments, hundreds of supporters standing along the east steps of the State Capitol made calls to the Speaker’s Albany office, asking him to join the rally and to bring the legislation to a vote. The Speaker did not come out of the Capitol, nor did he allow the legislation to come before the full Assembly for a vote during today’s session.
Hawley commented, “There is one man and one man alone standing between New Yorkers and lower gas prices. Moreover, this man will not come out and face the people. I am urging all New Yorkers to continue making calls to Sheldon Silver and not to stop until there is a cap on the state’s taxes on gasoline.”
The rising cost of gasoline has contributed to increased costs for nearly every product that needs to be transported, including medicines and food. Already, consumers are feeling the pinch of these costs at the grocery stores and pharmacy. The cost of home heating fuel is already going up. To stop this, Hawley and the Assembly Minority have been urging Speaker Silver to bring to a vote their legislation, Assembly Bill A.10818. This bill would suspend the three separate state taxes on fuel – the eight-cent motor fuel tax, the eight-cent sales tax and the 16-cent Petroleum Business Tax – from now until Labor Day, providing a savings of nearly 33 cents per gallon of gasoline and 31 cents per gallon of diesel fuel for motorists.
However, despite strong public support for this legislation, Speaker Silver has refused to let the bill come before the full Assembly to be voted on. As Hawley stated, “This one man is holding up the constitutional process, denying your right to be represented, and standing between you and a fairer price of gasoline.” The Senate recently passed the same legislation on May 7, 2008.