ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — The budget extender is set to expire on Monday, a letter from the Comptroller’s Office says another extender must be passed by noon on Tuesday to keep state operations running and state workers paid. Governor Hochul has repeatedly said, “a good budget is more important than an on time budget.” Housing and public safety disagreements are responsible for the now two-week late budget.
Assemblywoman Pat Fahy said in her 11 years at the state, it’s never been quite this late. “It is discouraging, but in the end, it’s more important that we try to get it right, try to listen to voters, try to address the housing crisis, try to address the theft crisis, and other criminal justice issues that voters care about,” said Fahy.
There have been discussions about judges having more discretion when it comes to setting bail and also some changes to discovery laws. The Legal Aid Society released a statement hinting at possible role backs. “The principles of bail reform, and not having your income level, or your pocketbook level dictate your level of justice that’s here to stay. Where we need some flexibility, in terms of gathering evidence, in terms of the guidelines not working and we’re seeing some horrific, violent cases being thrown out of court, we need to address that,” said Fahy.
Republican Senator Jake Ashby said with the budget being as late as it is, he knows bail reform is the stumbling block, which is why he’s supporting one specific piece of legislation, “So our bill removes cash bail completely, takes money out of the equation and it gives back discretion to judges.” Ashby said the bill would also create a commission of law enforcement, defense attorneys and prosecutors to compile data for judges to make their findings. “So if you look at where people stand on this issue and where their concerns fall, this bill addresses a lot of them and I think it’s a good middle ground and a good starting point,” he said. The legislative session is scheduled to resume on Monday.