ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — In her budget briefing, Governor Hochul discussed exactly how the projected $227 billion will be allocated: public safety and affordability taking top priority. Lawmakers are saying this was just the start and the details will unfold during session, but some are confused about the Governor’s proposed changes to bail reform.
“But conflicting language in the law leads to confusion and a lack of accountability for the judges to make their determinations so let’s just simply provide clarity, Let’s ensure judges, consider factors for serious offenders, and let’s leave the law where it is for low level fences,” said Governor Hochul. Minority Leader Robert Ortt, said more clarification and action from the Governor is needed to address crime. “The law has been a disaster for justice and so I think we need more significant changes than I think the governor, at least intoned, but that remains to be seen exactly what she’s going to do on that,” he said.
And when it comes to affordability, the Governor said she wants to index minimum wage to inflation, but recently, legislation was introduced to raise the minimum wage to $21.25 and then index to inflation. Speaker Carl Heastie said, more conversations about minimum wage are needed. “I’d say the differences really where is the starting points, whether you just index it currently to inflation or do you go up a number and then index it,” said Heastie. And lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agreed that a $1 billion investment in mental health services is the right choice.