NY GOP urges Hochul to get ‘bloody’ on bail reform fix in budget battle with fellow Dems

Gov. Kathy Hochul should be a fighter against Albany Democrats during budget talks, or progressives will stop her efforts to overhaul bail reform. This was the warning Wednesday from Republican legislative leaders.

The Post was told by Will Barclay, Assembly Minority Leader (R-Fulton), that “She certainly could do this – but it wouldn’t be bloody.”

“It is reasonable to assume that the Legislature has so much in their heads that they won’t do any criminal justice reforms or modifications to the bill.” “I’m not sure this is true.”

The Democratic supermajorities of the state Senate, Assembly and Senate rejected her proposal to relax bail laws to allow judges to impose cash bail to criminal defendants who are accused of serious offenses.


After a meeting with Hochul, Robert Ortt, the state Senate Minority Leader (R-Lockport), told reporters Wednesday that “She knew this was a bloody point during negotiations.”

“I’m going to hold her to her word at the point that she needs her to lean in. She won’t, no one is fighting for victims.

In 2019, controversial reforms required judges to grant defendants the “least restrictive conditions” before their trials, even if the offense would otherwise permit cash bail. Hochul believes this is a problem that must be addressed amid rising crime.

Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the State Senate Majority Leader (D-Yonkers), and Carl Heastie, the Assembly Speaker (D-Bronx), have resisted efforts to reform progressive reforms by pointing out that crime has increased nationwide, even in states with loose bail laws.

Stewart-Cousins stated Wednesday that “we are as interested in fighting crime, stopping violent crime as anyone,” to reporters at Capitol.

“We have always looked at data. We are always looking at data. I want to be able match our actions to data points that would actually suggest that they would improve the situation.

However, some data suggests that there is a strong correlation between cash bail limits and the rates at which people reoffend.

According to John Jay College’s Data Collaborative for Justice Wednesday, recidivism has increased in violent offenders over recent years. The report also revealed that those charged with lesser offenses tend to reoffend less.

The report does show that recidivism has risen for repeat offenders who are accused of crimes such as shoplifting and burglary.

“There was a pandemic. The ramifications of this are still being felt. “And I still believe that’s something has really been lost,” Heastie stated, while noting that the trial system was clogged up by COVID-19 shutdowns.

Republicans, however, have pointed out a number of retail thefts as well as other crimes that are tied to repeat offenders and argued that bail reform must be rolled back despite resistance from Democratic lawmakers — so long as Hochul fights to her budget proposal.

Ortt stated Wednesday that New Yorkers, people afraid to ride the subway, people scared to go the bodega and people who fear walking their child to school – in New York City, Rochester, across the country – are counting on Ortt to be strong enough for them. “So, I hope she’s.”

Both GOP legislators are asking Hochul to use her executive budgetary power to beat her fellow Democrats in bail. They refuse to approve a budget until Hochul agrees.

Hochul stated earlier this week she was open to extending the April 1 deadline, while noting that she did it last year to increase the number of bail situations that can be imposed on judges.

Hochul expressed optimism Wednesday about the possibility that Democratic legislators would eventually support Hochul on bail issues, despite them avoiding public displays of support, including from state Senator Jeremy Cooney (D–Rochester), who flipped on her bail proposal last Thursday.

She said that she was listening to New Yorkers voices and supports the bail plan. “But I am very happy with where we are at the moment.”

Ortt stated that Hochul’s bail push is still possible, but there are significant risks in budget talks. Ortt also said that Hochul may abandon her bail push in the remaining weeks. She could seek wins on other proposals, such as promoting housing construction and expanding charter schools in New York City.

Hochul faces stiff resistance from legislators against expanding charter schools in New York City. Her highly-touted housing plan is also being opposed by lawmakers.

“We all know that horse trading exists. “Is it traded away?” Ortt asked about bail. “I don’t know.”