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Hawley backs state legislation to help fire departments sell and advertise tickets online

Posted 17 March 2016 at 12:00 am

Press Release, State Assemblyman Steve Hawley

In light of the Stafford Volunteer Fire Department canceling its annual car raffle due to fundraising restrictions, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-Batavia), a life member of the Stafford Fire Department, announced today that he has introduced legislation to allow Internet advertising by charitable organizations.

Currently, the New York State Constitution does not allow online advertising of charitable games of chance or allow checks or credit cards to be accepted as payment for these raffles.

“I stand in complete support of the Stafford Fire Department,” Hawley said. “Volunteer fire departments are the crux of any successful public safety apparatus and they deserve our utmost respect, help and assistance in every capacity. Clearly, this is an example of the State Constitution lagging behind in technology and adhering to archaic laws. The Legislature should immediately consider a constitutional amendment to right this injustice, and I have introduced legislation that would allow charitable organizations to advertise raffle tickets online, boosting sales and reaching more residents. I love attending the Stafford Fire Department Raffle and realize its importance to the sustainability of the department and the local community. I pledge to help in any way I can.”

Hawley is co-sponsoring two bills which would allow charitable organizations holding raffles to accept checks and credit cards. Hawley said he will also be introducing a constitutional amendment to allow non-profit organizations more latitude in their fundraising efforts.

“Again, this is an example of selective enforcement,” Hawley said. “I sponsor two bills, A.9322 and A.4716, which would address this issue: one allowing checks as payment for raffle tickets and the other allowing credit as acceptable payment for games of chance. This would allow all of our other not for profits, churches, veterans clubs, service clubs and others who strive to help themselves and our communities to sell tickets online and engage more supporters. These bills are currently being held in the Racing and Wagering Committee, and I will do all that I can to get them passed.”