Hawley Proposes Residency Statute for Social Services

Legislation would require benefit recipients be long-term New Yorkers

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C-Batavia) is sponsoring legislation that seeks to limit public assistance benefits to true New York residents. The bill seeks to implement a 90-day residency requirement for such applicants.

“One of Albany’s worst-kept secrets is the fact that people come to New York from all over the country to take advantage of our wire-thin requirements for public assistance,” said Hawley. “This legislation seeks to limit these benefits to people who actually live, work and raise a family in New York state, rather than people in search of a cash grab for New York’s all-too-easily obtainable buck.”

Current New York laws hold no requirement regarding length of residency for benefit recipients. Applicants must only reside in New York and show intent to remain in the state for the foreseeable future, which is proven through documents such as a land lease or a driver’s license.

“This bill is about protecting the limited resources we have to serve true New Yorkers that depend on these funds,” said Hawley. “New York can barely sustain the level of assistance we are committed to within our own state borders. It is vital that we make sure every dollar spent is done so judiciously and effectively.”