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New York Governor proposes changes to bail reform law



Rochester, New York – Governor Hochul has submitted a 10-part proposal to lawmakers that would include changes like giving judges more discretion to set bail and expanding the number of crimes eligible for bail. The legislation would answer calls from many Republicans and law enforcement officials who have been critical of the bail reform laws since passed in 2019.

According to Senator Jeremy Cooney (D-56th District), he would be open to discussing these changes.

“What I am most interested in again is getting illegal guns off the street and holding those with repeat offenses to a higher standard,” he said.

According to Senator Cooney, changes to bail reform laws should be balanced with fairness.

“We knew there was injustice in that the size of a person’s wallet determines whether they go to jail or not, that’s wrong,” he said.

In November, former Gates Police Chief Jim VanBrederode will run against Senator Cooney. Criminal justice reform systems are one of his key issues, he said.

“If you talk to the men and women in the trenches every day we could have told you this was going to happen. It’s unfortunate that we had to wait two years to do something because a lot of people have paid the price for this failed policy,” VanBrederode said.

For the last several years, he and others in law enforcement have expressed criticism on bail reform laws.

“All we have to do is have a legislative change to allow a judge to hold someone in custody for public safety reasons,” VanBrederode said.

Improving public safety must be a priority, is something that the two opponents both agree on.