Republican lawmakers advocate for public safety proposals
ALBANY, NY (WENY)-- Republican lawmakers from the state assembly and the senate gathered at the capitol's million dollar staircase to push for a package of legislative proposals they said will decrease crime and bolster public safety.
Some lawmakers said criminal justice policies dealing with bail reform are further straining New York's public safety issue.
“We hand strung judges by stripping away their ability to keep imprisoned violent criminals without bail," said Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay (R, C-Pulaski).
Barclay highlighted a poll from Siena College Research Institute that says 93% of New Yorkers are concerned about crime. Local lawmaker Sen. Tom O'Mara (R-Big Flats), said he sees this worry across the state.
“Everywhere I go, across the 58 Senate District and elsewhere in the state, citizens are very concerned about crime. We don’t need a Siena poll to come out telling us that people are concerned about crime. I hear it every day," he said.
Sen. O'Mara said the Governor needs to use her political capital towards this issue.
Gov. Kathy Hochul has continually emphasized that public safety is one of her top priorities. in her state of the state address two weeks ago, she said she plans to strengthen gun violence prevention laws, to launch a task force to monitor illegal gun trafficking, and to address bail reform.
Hochul said in her address she doesn't believe that bail reform is a primary driver of crime waves, but she promised to work with lawmakers to make meaningful changes.