NY Capitol News

Senate Republicans investigating parolee vote order

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) - Senate Republicans announced on Monday that they will be investigating the Governor's executive order allowing parolees to vote.

"They've really failed the public in terms of parole and public safety," Senator Jim Tedisco (R-Schenectady) said.

Sen. Tedisco is one of many Senate Republicans who have been pushing back against. Governor Andrew Cuomo's executive order signed back in April that allows felons to vote while on parole. 

On Monday, the Senate GOP announced they will be scheduling hearings to get the public's input.

"We're a check on the Governor and his actions, just like he's a check on us. We should have the opportunity to have these hearings."

The Governor's press office says the governor's actions put New York in line with Washington D.C. and 18 other states.

Regardless, even if these public hearings were to find, that the governor's order is widely disliked, a Constitutional Amendment, which is a multi-year process, would be needed to overturn the executive order.

Sen. Tedisco says what is really needed is parole reform.

"Nothing is more important than public safety. We have a series of bills that we passed in the New York State Senate to reform the parole system and we would like to see the Assembly take those bills up.

Assemblyman John McDonald believes that some of current parole reform bills do little to solve the problem and both sides need to go back before the drawing board to draft a new bill together.

McDonald: From these hearings maybe some ideas will come forward, maybe it will be something both houses of the legislature can work together on and work with the governor to address," Assemblyman John McDonald (D-Cohoes) said.

The exact date of the hearings have not been announced yet.


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