Hawley favors regional re-start for getting people back to work

Posted 21 April 2020 at 9:08 am

Editor:

In just a little over a month, I have seen great strides made in fighting the COVID-19 outbreak in this state and country. From volunteers giving their time and spare resources to those in need to community leaders and members rallying to support our counties, I can’t be more proud of the work that has been done and the selflessness that has been shown during this pandemic. That being said, with news of declining cases in the state of New York and the reality of our economic crisis becoming more and more prevalent, we need to start preparing for what comes next.

As Deputy Minority Leader, and in concert with the Assembly Republican Conference, I am advocating for a regional re-opening of the state to allow our workers to get their lives back, one step at a time. The proposal I am making is that starting April 30th, the state government should begin to allow more leniency in its lockdown rules where it can be allowed, particularly in districts and counties where the number of cases is not as high.

The goal is to slowly reopen society, beginning with 25 percent of employees returning to what was determined as non-essential work, and gradually increasing that number over the course of two-week periods. This strategy aims to follow social distancing guidelines and public health guidelines while at the same time getting ahead of helping people to return to work and jump-start the economy.

Some of the initiatives I am hoping to implement to get us going again include requiring face coverings for newly reopening businesses, ensuring businesses maintain 6-foot buffer zones, prioritizing online payments over cashiers when feasible, and making hand sanitization/hand washing stations available to employees and customers. These steps are far from simple, and the key to making this work will be in the combined collaboration of local communities with each other. That being said, I believe these steps, among others, will go a long way toward helping individual districts begin to economically recover.

I recognize that this is a very delicate time. Our leaders in state and federal governments are correct in saying that this period, on the downswing of cases counted, is where things can either go well or poorly. And while I can appreciate that caution and careful nature that larger bodies want to abide by, I also have to recognize that the need to get people back to work so they can support themselves and their families is a priority. I encourage you to read the full proposal attached, drafted by the Assembly Minority Conference, and to reach out to me with any comments or questions you may have.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley

Batavia

Hawley represents the 139thAssembly District which includes most of Orleans, all of Genesee and part of western Monroe counties.