Gov. Hochul Pushes to Change NY Bail Reform: NY Democrats Remain Unenthusiastic

Gov. Hochul Pushes to Change NY Bail Reform: NY Democrats Remain Unenthusiastic

By Yehudit Garmaise

 The majority of Democrats in the New York state legislature have said they are happy with state’s controversial 2019 bail reform law, however, Gov. Kathy Hochul is reportedly proposing revisions as she conducts the last weeks of negotiations with legislators for the state’s 2023 budget, which is due on April 1.

In 2019, New York eliminated cash bail for most misdemeanor and non-violent felony charges out of consideration for criminals who cannot afford to raise the money to pay their bail. Other advocates say the current bail reform was aimed to reduce jail populations and combat systemic racism.

Mayor Eric Adams and others in the city are concerned that bail reform has allowed criminals who are repeat offenders to return quickly to the streets to perpetrate more crimes against New Yorkers. 

Gov. Hochul would expand the list of crimes, such as those committed against subway and bus passengers and any crimes involving guns eligible for bail, WCBS reported. In addition, the governor would allow judges to consider criminals’ histories before setting bail.

Most state Democrats, who do not support a re-tooling of current the bail reform law, say that bail reform is not responsible for the 45% spike in crime over last year’s rates and that rolling back bail reform will only hurt people: particularly people of color.

Mayor Adams, who pushed for changes to bail reform during a Feb. 15 visit to Albany last month called the governor’s ideas, “a big step forward.”

“The governor’s proposals would make New York safer, while not undoing important reforms,” Mayor Adams said. 

Photo Credit: Flickr

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