Hawley passes on inauguration for local commitments

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 January 2017 at 7:51 am
Steve Hawley speaks during Friday's Legislative Luncheon.

Steve Hawley speaks during Friday’s Legislative Luncheon.

GAINES – State Assemblyman Steve Hawley was invited to Donald Trump’s Inauguration on Friday, but the state legislator had several local commitments, so he passed on going to Washington, D.C.

Hawley was at the Legislative Luncheon on Friday at Tillman’s Village Inn. That event was organized by the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce.

Today he is attending two fire department installation dinners and on Sunday he has a commitment at his church.

Hawley told the group at the Legislative Luncheon that constituents come first. He said he is the employee of the people in the district.

“I think my place is here today,” Hawley said. “I know the peaceful transition of power in Washington will happen without me.”

Hawley said he attended George W. Bush’s Inauguration. Other local state legislators, State Sen. Robert Ortt and Assemblyman Michael Norris, were in D.C. for Trump’s inauguration.

Hawley said New York and the local area should benefit from the current leadership of the federal government. Trump is a New Yorker, the Senate Democrat leader is Chuck Schumer of New York, and Chris Collins, the local Congressman, has an elevated status after being the first in the House to back Trump.

Schumer and Collins both have “a direct line to the President,” Hawley said.

Hawley updated the nearly 100 people at the Legislative Luncheon about the state budget. Hawley said he was disappointed with the governor’s process in presenting the budget to state legislators. The governor chose to have six budget events around the state, but only met with some select state legislators to go over the spending plan.

“It was an interesting saga of noncommunication,” Hawley said.

He was critical of the governor for not being more transparent in the process.

Hawley was pleased with the governor for including a provision in the budget to allow charities, such as fire departments and Rotary clubs, to sell raffle tickets online and receive payments through credit cards or debit cards.

The state hasn’t updated that law and it forced the cancellation of popular car raffles last year by the Stafford and Elba fire departments.

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