ALBANY, NY (WNY News Now) — After Governor Kathy Hochul hinted at possible changes to bail reform during her 2023 State of the State address, local lawmakers are preparing for hearings on the subject.
Senator George Borrello believes that crime and safety is the number one concern that is driving New Yorkers out of the state.
“The bottom line is, everything else we talk about, reducing taxes, reducing the burdensome regulations, all those things, none of that matters if people don’t feel safe. That’s as basic as it gets, do you feel safe in your own home? Do you feel safe on the street? Do you feel safe out with your children on the street,” asks Borrello.
He furthers that victims of bail reform are casualties in the social justice war being waged by the far left. However, he did echo the sentiments of the Governor, in her original reasoning for the reforms.
“This started somewhere that Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives agree, that we don’t want poor people in jail for petty crimes while they await trial because they can’t afford the minimal amount of bail. Now there’s a simple solution to that, don’t commit crime,” says Borrello.
Instead of Hochul’s set of laws, Borrello believes bail laws could’ve been adjusted so that people awaiting trial for petty crime did not have to wait in county jail until their trial, something that costs taxpayers around 100 dollars a day.
“We don’t want those people in jail for petty crime, but at the same time, you don’t take the system and burn it to the ground which is what the progressives did. They allowed the most radical activists, the people who truly believe that no one should be in prison ever, for anything, and I’m not exaggerating. Those are the people that wrote the bail reform laws,” claims Borrello.
The Governor urged lawmakers to find common ground to make improvements on the law, instead of only debating what they disagree on. It is likely that many lawmakers will push for more judicial discretion in setting bail for crimes basing determinations on a case-by-case basis rather than a broad standard.
The details of Hochul’s bail reform proposals will likely be hammered out in Hochul’s executive budget, which is due by Feb. 1. After she presents the executive budget, lawmakers will then conduct a series of hearings on topics like bail reform and vote on resolutions.