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The state Legislature is still at odds over the state budget for 2023

Although there was an extender passed Monday to buy more time for lawmakers, bail reform is believed to be one of the issues holding it up. Local lawmakers and those working in the legal system tell News 12 it is crucial that no revisions be made.

News 12 Staff

Apr 5, 2022, 3:09 AM

Updated 811 days ago

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The state Legislature is still at odds over the state budget for 2023.
Lawmakers missed Friday’s deadline as negotiations continued over the states more than $216B budget.
Although there was an extender passed Monday to buy more time for lawmakers, bail reform is believed to be one of the issues holding it up. Local lawmakers and those working in the legal system tell News 12 it is crucial that no revisions be made.
"I think it was a long-awaited success,” said Eli C. Northrup, Policy Counsel at the Bronx Defenders.
New York state passed bail reform in 2019, eliminating cash bail for most misdemeanor charges.
Northrup with his group acknowledged it was a game-changer for those awaiting their court date. The state’s current bail reform keeps many out of Rikers Island.
"Even five days in jail can derail someone's housing, their job,” added Northup. “The conditions are completely terrible and that's where people go when bail is set."
Assembly member Latrice Walker went on a two-week hunger strike to show her disapproval over proposed changes.
"There has been zero empirical data to support the changes to bail reform,” she said.
Walker’s disappointment is in reference to New York City Comptroller Brad Lander's recent report which states that pre-trial arrest rates remained nearly identical pre and post bail reform.
"I think when we appropriately recognize what our problem is then we can appropriately address the ills were facing,” Walker continued.
Amid these budget talks, Gov. Kathy Hochul says she too is acting in the best interest of new yorkers.
“There is strong interest from New Yorkers to have us address the issue of escalating crime,” Hochul acknowledged. “We've never said it was bail reform's fault. We put together a comprehensive package that's going to address a myriad of issues of crime in this state."
Walker remains optimistic because of her commitment to fighting for what she believes will best serve the people of New York.


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