New York lawmakers consider backing away from lax bail laws: Report

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New York Governor Kathy Hochul addresses the media during a press conference in response to the Signature Bank’s closure in New York, Monday, March. 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

New York lawmakers consider backing away from lax bail laws: Report

New York state lawmakers are considering rolling back lax bail reform laws.

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) has supported changes to the bail reform amid rising crime in the state that some Democrats fear may hurt their election chances. She had faced stark resistance from liberal Democrats in the state legislature who have opposed her move. However, a Politico report revealed that Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-NY) is considering removing the “least restrictive means” standard judges use to set bail. The turnaround comes as a shock, as Heastie had previously been one of the change’s biggest opponents.

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“If true, it’s a very big deal: Heastie is telling the progressives to be quiet while he changes a law they fought for,” political consultant Hank Sheinkopf told the New York Post.

While the change is only one of Hochul’s proposals, it was listed as one of her top priorities.

However, some people familiar with the matter have doubted that Heastie would go through with his suggestion.

“[It’s] highly unlikely that the Assembly will suddenly flip flop on decades of strongly held beliefs about criminal justice reform, which means it’s very likely that if the reports are true, there is nuance in the Assembly’s position,” they told the outlet.

Despite the possibility of the leadership flipping on the topic, other liberal legislators are vowing to stand their ground.

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“I feel the need to clarify that the Assembly Majority opposes any changes to weaken or upend the bail laws and subject more New Yorkers to the dangers of pretrial jailing,” Assemblywoman Latrice Walker (D-NY) said.

Whether Heastie will go through with his floated idea of giving in to some of Hochul’s demands will be revealed soon since the budget deadline is on Saturday.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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