Kathy Hochul’s rollback of bail reform in New York faces opposition

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s plan to reverse New York’s controversial bail bond reform bill hit a major hurdle Wednesday when the state Senate leader said Democratic lawmakers were “absolutely” opposed to the idea.

“I think the general sense is that nobody in our conference wants to go backwards,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins ​​(D-Yonkers) told reporters in Albany.

“Absolutely not.”

Stewart-Cousins ​​said lawmakers have “started talking about Hochul’s 10-point public safety proposal,” which the governor will approve as part of the state budget on June 1.

But Stewart-Cousins ​​also noted that “there was a lot of discussion before we went ahead with the original reforms” in 2019.

“And again, we’re always happy to double check, but we’re not going back to a place we haven’t been before we even started the bail discussion,” she said.

Meanwhile, Assembly Democrats held a heated, three-hour caucus on Tuesday night, where progressive members defended the bail reform bill while moderates, mostly from suburban counties, said changes were needed, sources said.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s plan would allow judges to review defendants’ criminal records before posting or denying bail.
Getty Images

“The Democratic Conference is divided, although more do not support change than do support change,” said one member.

Among those opposing any changes is MP Latrice Walker (D-Brooklyn), who said on Tuesday she was ready to go on a hunger strike to try to block Hochul’s proposals.

Mayor Eric Adams has repeatedly called on state legislatures to help him reduce the city’s rising crime rate by giving judges the power to incarcerate defendants based on their danger to the community and to prosecute armed teenagers.

Andrea Stewart Cousins
New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins ​​said she does not want to backtrack on bail reform.
Eric Adams
New York Mayor Eric Adams has called for changes to the bail reform bill.

Hochul’s plan, first reported by The Post, would allow judges to examine suspects’ criminal records and past use or possession of firearms before posting or denying bail.

It would also increase the number of offenses for which bail could be set and allow gun-caught teenagers to be prosecuted in criminal court rather than family court, reversing regulations signed by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Kathy Hochul’s rollback of bail reform in New York faces opposition


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