Gov. Kathy Hochul made public safety a prime precedence as she set the agenda for the brand new 12 months in her State of the State deal with on Tuesday – with rebuilding the state police and adjusting bail legal guidelines among her main proposals.
Hochul famous that murders and shootings had been down in 2022 – each statewide and in New York Metropolis. However she additionally stated different crimes, like rape, housebreaking and grand larceny are up – largely in New York Metropolis.
“Public safety is my top priority,” Hochul stated. “I am committed to using every tool at my disposal to protect the people of this state, crack down on gun violence and violent crime, and invest in proven solutions that keep New Yorkers safe.”
The proposals introduced Tuesday embrace:
- Adjustments to the state’s bail legal guidelines. The present legal guidelines stop judges from imposing bail on a defendant earlier than trial in most misdemeanor and nonviolent felony circumstances. Hochul says she desires to take away a clause that requires judges to implement the “least restrictive” measures to make sure a defendant returns to court docket in circumstances which might be eligible for bail. She says that will likely be much less complicated for judges who could also be releasing defendants that they might in any other case maintain till trial. The proposal is prone to be opposed by progressive Democrats and activists.
- $30 million in new funding to packages aimed toward connecting folks — particularly these combating psychological well being points and substance use – with options to incarceration. That’s double what was in final 12 months’s price range, Hochul stated.
- Rising the funding to assist folks leaving jail get again on their toes, from $4 million to $12 million. That features line gadgets like tuition help for persevering with training and job readiness packages.
- $36 million to rent police officers and prosecutors within the 20 jurisdictions most affected by gun violence. That’s double the spending in final 12 months’s price range, in line with Hochul’s plan.
- Rebuild the state police by launching 4 academy lessons, and bringing “Community Stabilization Units” to focus on particular crimes in 9 communities along with the 16 the place they’re already in place. Hochul additionally desires state police to collaborate extra with federal and native legislation enforcement to hunt out unlawful weapons and struggle violent crime.
- Hiring lots of of latest prosecutors across the state to cut back case backlogs. In a press launch, a spokesperson for the Authorized Assist Society, a public defender group, stated the proposal ignores an equal want for extra public defenders.