ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Former Congressman Lee Zeldin addressed bail reform in his first post-election press conference on Monday. The Republican hopeful in the 2022 gubernatorial election spoke in Albany and criticized Gov. Kathy Hochul’s recent state budget.

Rising crime was a large focal point in Zeldin’s campaign. He said more changes need to be made to New York’s bail laws.

“It’s important for judges to have discretion to weigh dangerousness. It needs to be added to her amendments,” he said. “This should be her stance out of the gate. And she should be utilizing the tactic she has failed to utilized in the past: go to the public. New Yorkers want judges to have discretion to weigh dangerousness.”

In the governor’s 2024 budget proposal, she wants to invest $15.7 million of state funding into alternatives for incarceration. In addition, she wants to get rid of the least restrictive means standard when it comes to bail reform.

Zeldin lost the governor’s race by a razor thin margin. The race came closer than most gubernatorial contests in the past two decades.

The New York State budget is due April 1.