bail reform

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Rachel May will be among the Democrats in the New York State Senate who will consider proposed changes to the recently enacted criminal justice reforms that have generated several weeks of heated debate. 

Karen DeWitt / WXXI News

The fight over recently enacted bail reform heated up at the Capitol Tuesday, with dueling events by police and activists that at times centered on charges of racism surrounding a Facebook page that calls for the law to be repealed.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Onondaga County lawmakers approved a non-binding resolution Tuesday telling the state to make immediate changes to the criminal justice reforms that took effect January 1.  They include returning discretion to judges to impose bail for certain crimes, and for the state to fund the additional cost of implementing mandates under the reforms.  

Republican state lawmakers will be holding roundtable forums around the state to discuss the fallout from the state’s newly enacted criminal justice reforms. Most forms of cash bail for nonviolent crimes ended on January 1st.

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The backlash to New York’s new law that ends most forms of cash bail continues at the Capitol, but the Senate Leader says she does not want to rush to change the reforms until they are given a chance to work.

There are some cracks among some top state Democrats in their support for new criminal justice reforms that have eliminated most forms of cash bail.  Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state’s Attorney General are among those now saying they are open to making some changes.

Law enforcement groups have pushed back against criminal justice changes that take effect in January, including the end to most forms of cash bail. But the advocates who fought for the changes  say they are long overdue and will restore fairness to the system.

Chris Bolt / WAER-FM 88.3

Law enforcement officials in Central New York and across the state are sounding the alarm about pending justice reforms set to take effect January first.  Surrounded by dozens of deputies, officers and supporters, Onondaga County Sheriff Gene Conway says they had no opportunity to offer their insights to lawmakers or the governor when they crafted the new laws. 

New York State

The New York state budget is starting to take shape, as lawmakers planned to return to the Capitol for a rare Sunday session to begin voting to meet the April 1 deadline.

There are still a few  moving parts to the budget, but Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins  says the some of the remaining items- increasing school aide funding, criminal justice reform and public financing of campaigns are “within striking distance of being resolved”. 

“I think we’re at the finish line,” Stewart-Cousins said. “We are working hard to get an on time budget.”