ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — With the budget due this week, state lawmakers are making their voices heard on what they believe should be included in the state budget. One of the hottest topics of discussion is bail reform.
Some Democrats do not want changes made to the law. “The fact of the matter is, bail reform, raise the age, and discovery reform are one of three of the most successful policies that this state, that this country has ever seen,” Assemblymember Latrice Walker said at a press conference on Monday.
At this point, it’s unclear what changes will be included in the budget when it comes to this issue. Gov. Kathy Hochul has proposed a 10 point public safety plan she would like included in the budget which would make changes to bail reform by giving more discretion to judges.
Some Republicans have called for bail reform to be repealed altogether. “3,460 offenders arrested and released committed violent felonies,” stated Sen. Daphne Jordan. “That’s violent felonies while out pending trial. 3,460 violent crimes could have been prevented if judges had full discretion to set bail in appropriate cases.”
Many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have eyes on another popular topic—relief at the pump. They are calling for the suspension of the state’s gas tax. “Gas prices have gone up, they have been up,” explained Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara. “People are looking for something that will impact them now. This is the measure that can do it.”
Hochul said on Friday the issue is being discussed in budget negotiations. And a release from New York’s Green Party—whose members do not hold any statewide elected office—urges a longer view from an environmentalist perspective: “Rather than halting the state’s taxes on gas, the Greens would provide a large rebate to low- and middle-income New Yorkers funded through a carbon tax (polluter penalty), and tax on the profits of gas and other fossil fuel companies.”