ALBANY – With the state budget due April 1, many are looking to Governor Kathy Hocul to see where she will land on reforming bail reform and increasing crime in the state.
Though the Governor has made it clear that budget negotiations will not be presented to the public, last week part of her plan regarding bail reform changes was leaked to the press.
Hochul has been working on a 10-point public safety plan that looks to overhaul the state’s controversial bail law.
“I’ve been taking action to reduce gun violence, try to address the trafficking of illegal guns. We have a task force that’s set up, we’ve been working closely with them, continuing to monitor their activities,” says Hochul.
The plan includes set factors to determine bail like criminal history and history of firearm use and possession as well as making repeat, gun-related, hate crime, and subway offenses bail eligible.
It also includes reforms of the discovery and the “Raise the Age” statute while making it easier to prosecute gun trafficking.
In an effort to stop crime before it starts, the plan would increase funding for mental health treatment, as well as for pretrial, diversion, and employment programs.
Senator George Borrello believes the Governor’s plan will be “dead on arrival” and that a grassroots effort by New Yorkers must be taken to repeal the laws.
“Many of my colleagues on this side of the aisle are talking about bail reform being changed, but they’re not taking action. And I can tell you that because I myself have led what are called ‘hostel amendments’ on the floor of the state senate to repeal bail reform. And when we do that, every single Democrat votes no,” says Borrello.
The Senator continued with the importance of voting this fall, saying that who you chose will make a big impact on how this battle proceeds.
“It’s going to have to take a grassroots effort from everyone in New York state who understands that New York State is a much more violent place because the folks that presented bail reform have said that they are not making any changes,” says Borrello.
In the end, the Governor assures the state that protecting the safety of New Yorkers and protecting the rights of those accused of committing a crime are in her top priorities, and that she will work hard to strike the right balance with the help of her legislators.