ALBANY, N.Y. (WETM) — Gov. Kathy Hochul is planning to propose changes to New York’s current bail reform laws, according to a report from the New York Post. The report said that Hochul will lay out a 10-point plan that will allow judges “more discretion to order bail.”
The proposed changes would add discretion to detain criminals for more crimes, including repeat offenders. The Post said that additional gun-related offenses will also be subject to bail. Gun trafficked will also reportedly be easier to prosecute, according to the report. This would lower the number of guns that must be involved in order to charge someone with a class-C felony. It will also reportedly make reforms to the “Raise the Age” statute which raised the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18.
State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt said the changes are long overdue but said time will tell how far the reforms actually go. In a statement, he said:
Despite her initial inaction, Governor Hochul has apparently joined me and my colleagues in calling for long-overdue reform. We will await details to see if these calls for change are genuine or lip-service. Unfortunately, achieving serious changes to the “bail reform” disaster requires the reliably pro-criminal Senate and Assembly Democrats, who enacted these disastrous laws, to follow suit. Until that happens, we will continue to see more violence, more shootings, and more innocent New Yorkers being victimized.”
The report also drew reactions from advocacy groups. “We cannot allow Governor Hochul to resort to the failed politics and policies of the 1990s,” said Marvin Mayfield, the director of organizing at Center for Community Alternatives, an organization with offices in Syracuse, Rochester, and New York city that’s committed to finding community-based alternatives to incarceration. “In doing so, she is placing political expediency over all evidence about what actually improves safety.”
Hochul has reportedly come under fire for inaction on bail reform law, and top New York legislators like Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Owens and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie are reportedly opposed to changes.
NEWS10 will continue following developments around proposed changes to cash bail. NEWS10’s sister station in New York City is also working to obtain more information. Updates will be provided as they become available.