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The following is a Legislative Column from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia)
As many of us are aware, the virus known as COVID-19, or coronavirus, has required us to make many changes in our day-to-day lives. From limiting social interactions to setting up curfews in the evenings, these changes are most definitely out of the ordinary. But, I have a feeling we will all be grateful such care is being taken to prevent the spread of the disease when we look back at this event.
However, during this public health crisis, it is becoming clear that some attempts to push forward policy that has not been properly debated or discussed are becoming commonplace. My stance is what it has always been: the government’s role is not to avoid transparency, and I will fight to make sure New Yorkers know what their government is doing.
We are not here to tie the bow on the governor’s bad policy in the middle of a crisis. It’s wrong and it’s dishonest. It’s disappointing to think that the governor would take advantage of the situation by trying to jam his political wish-list into what is supposed to be a policy-free budget. We need to pass a budget that responsibly keeps the state operating, one that allows the state to be financially stable, so we can return at a safer, later date to debate and determine the merits of any and all proposals that do not have a financial impact on everyday New Yorkers.
Additionally, we need to lead by example. While I agree that state legislators should be working day and night to support New Yorkers in this time of crisis, I am equally mindful of keeping legislators as healthy as possible. We are needed in our districts now more than ever, which leads me to believe that pushing back a voting deadline for the budget is more important than ever.