Hawley’s survey of district gives residents’ views on many state issues

Posted 16 July 2016 at 12:00 am

Press Release, State Assemblyman Steve Hawley
Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-Batavia) has released the results of his legislative survey mailer that was distributed to households during the winter. The survey covered topics across a plethora of platforms and state issues, including: ethics reform, infrastructure, jobs, education, paid-family leave and taxes.

“I am proud to announce the results of my 2016 Legislative Survey and I plan to use the feedback I received to formulate policy proposals and my legislative platform if I am re-elected to the Assembly next term,” Hawley said. “It is one of the highest honors of my life to represent my constituents and address their questions and concerns. The overall results of my survey indicate that my constituents believe the state is not headed in the right direction and we are falling short on a number of issues. I will continue to fight to see that we do right by the people of our state and stop catering to downstate special interests and New York City politicians.”


1.) How do you feel about the direction in which New York State is headed?
o Right Direction 16.2%
o Wrong Direction 75.3%

2.) What issue should be the top priority of New York State government in 2016?

o Education 11.2%
o Economic Development/Job Creation 23.2%
o Cutting Taxes 44.8%
o Improving NY’s Business Environment 23.2%
o Ethics Reform in Government 30.9%

3.) The state’s minimum wage increased to $9/hour on December 31, 2015. Many have called for an increase to $15/hour over the next few years. Economists predict an increase to $15/hour will result in the loss of between 200,000 and 500,000 jobs in New York State. What is your opinion about the state’s minimum wage?

o The increase to $9/hour is fine 61.4%
o Minimum wage should be raised slightly (less than $12.50/hour) 25.1%
o Minimum wage should be increased to $15/hour 6.9%
o Minimum wage should be higher than $15/hour 0.4%

4.) New York has made recent downstate commitments to a new Tappan Zee Bridge ($4 billion), renovating LaGuardia Airport ($4 billion), and funding the Metropolitan Transportation Authority ($8 billion). In 2016, how should available money be distributed to repair New York’s aging roads, bridges & infrastructure?

o Spend available infrastructure money equally across New York State 29.3%
o Spend a greater portion of infrastructure money on upstate projects to balance previous downstate spending 44.8%
o Spend all available money on upstate projects, downstate has already received its fair share 22.8%

5.) Census data shows that more people leave New York each year than any other state. In your opinion, what is the biggest factor causing people to leave New York for another state?

o High cost of living 38.2%
o Lack of jobs or business opportunities 31.3%
o Property taxes 49.0%
o Weather 5.4%

6.) What is the best way to create more jobs in New York State?

o Lower taxes on businesses 24.7%
o Eliminate regulations and red tape 39.8%
o Lower taxes across the board 48.3%
o Open casinos 1.5%
o Rely on state grant programs like START-UP NY 1.2%

7.) Standardized tests in our schools – part of the Common Core Curriculum – have been a controversial topic among parents, teachers and education professionals. More than 200,000 students in New York State opted out of taking the exams last year. In your opinion, what should be done to address Common Core?

o Nothing, children should take the tests and adapt to the program 2.3%
o Stop giving the tests until the Common Core program is fixed 29.0%
o Continue the tests while working to address flaws in the program 21.6%
o Stop standardized tests in schools, they take away from the learning environment 37.1%

8.) Community colleges offer students a valuable bridge toward careers and future education. Some officials have proposed the idea of providing free community college to students in New York State. What are your thoughts on this proposal?

o Free community college is an important measure that should be pursued 7.7%
o Students attending community colleges deserve more assistance from the state, but not their entire tuition 35.1%
o Taxpayers cannot afford to provide this financial commitment at this time 56.0%

9.) While students and families across New York face increasing tuition costs and college debt, some legislators have proposed the DREAM Act – a taxpayer-funded tuition assistance program for illegal immigrants. How do you feel about the DREAM Act?

o Support 5.8%
o Oppose 91.5%
o N/A 2.7%

10.) Some state leaders have proposed 12 weeks of paid family leave to become law as part of this year’s state budget. Do you support this proposal, and if so, how do think this should be funded?

o Yes, I support this proposal but it should be paid by the employee through a deduction 36.3%
o Yes, I support this proposal but the employer should pay for it 6.9%
o Yes, I support this proposal but the state should pay for this program 5.4%
o I do not support this proposal 50.2%

11.) Do you support the elimination of pension and retirement benefits for elected public officials who are convicted of felony corruption charges?

o Support 90.0%
o Oppose 3.1%
o N/A 6.9%

12.) Governor Cuomo has pledged to limit outside income for legislators to 15% of the base salary for Assembly members ($11,925). Do you support the limiting of outside income for elected state officials?

o Yes, I support limiting outside income to $11,925 per year 18.9%
o No, the idea of a citizen-legislator is important and we shouldn’t limit outside income 58.7%
o Yes, we should ban all outside income and state legislators should work year round and full-time 16.2%

13.) Do you support term limits for legislative leaders (i.e. Speaker of the Assembly, Majority and Minority Leader of both the Assembly and Senate)?

o Support 90.3%
o Oppose 5.8%