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The Assembly Minority Conference

New York Assembly And Senate Minority Conferences: Restore Public Safety Now

With Homicides & Violent Crime on the Rise Across New York, Minority Conference Members Stand With Law Enforcement & Local Officials to Call for Return to Common-Sense Public Safety Solutions

Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay, Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt, their colleagues and law enforcement professionals from around the state today called for an immediate restoration of public safety in New York.

“The safety of our citizens should be the top priority for anyone who holds public office. But year after year, the Majority has done everything in their power to undermine our laws, pardon violent criminals and make it harder for police to protect the communities they serve. Those who supported and celebrated ‘bail reform’ as a means to make communities safer have lost all credibility on issues of law and order. They are responsible for establishing a system that enables crime and ignores criminal behavior, and it’s time to reverse course. Liberals’ platform on criminal justice isn’t simply misguided – it’s actually dangerous,” said Leader Barclay (R,C,I-Pulaski).

“My Minority Conference colleagues and I believe that no New Yorker should ever feel unsafe in their homes, neighborhoods and local communities. Regrettably, the radical extremists now running the state Legislature have placed the interests of dangerous criminals above the rights of everyone else, including crime victims, law-abiding citizens and the dedicated law enforcement professionals who keep our communities safe. The results are painfully clear, and New Yorkers have had enough. It’s time to restore common sense and public safety to our state now,” said Leader Ortt (R-North Tonawanda).

“As we saw in last fall’s election, voters held legislators accountable who voted for the Bail Reform Act. Just yesterday, I joined with Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder to cite examples of criminals who were released, only to be rearrested for dangerous gun-related offenses. Right now, criminals have more rights than victims. Enough is enough. We have to repeal bail reform, and we have to repeal it now before any more New Yorkers get hurt,” said Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman.

Following the Majorities’ push for a radical, pro-criminal agenda in 2019, New York has become a criminal haven, facing numerous public-safety challenges, including: 

  • In Albany, those killed by gun violence has increased 700 percent;
  • In Rochester, those killed by gun violence has increased 174 percent;
  • Statewide, shooting incidents and victims are up at least 42 percent in each of the five major cities; and
  • Statewide in 2020, 21 percent of defendants arraigned on felony charges were rearrested for a new crime following pre-trial release. 

“As a former Lieutenant with the New York City Police Department, I understand better than most the consequences of Albany liberals weak-on-crime agenda and the impact that it is having on communities across our state. Today, I stand with my Minority Conference colleagues, just as we have done many times before, to demand that Albany Majority members take action that’ll restore law and order once and for all with the passage of our legislation,” said Assemblyman Mike Reilly (R-South Shore).

“Bad policy and refusal by radical officials to enforce the law have resulted in a public-safety crisis in New York,” said Assemblyman Michael Tannousis (R,C-Staten Island/Brooklyn). “Our skyrocketing crime and murder rates are absolutely unacceptable. As a prosecutor, I saw firsthand what it takes to keep our communities safe and it starts with returning to common-sense public safety policy and holding criminals accountable for their actions.”

“As a former State Trooper and Sheriff of Erie County, I understand the many challenges facing law enforcement in its effort to keep our neighborhoods safe. With crime and victimization on the rise in many communities, it is clear that we need to fix the dangerous changes made to New York’s criminal justice system in recent years. Our laws should not favor offenders over law-abiding citizens and families. It is time to restore common-sense criminal justice policies and ensure that law enforcement has the resources necessary to protect our communities and residents,” said Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R,C-Elma).

“We have seen time and time again that the Majorities in Albany have advanced a pro-criminal, anti-law enforcement and anti-victim agenda. Our Conference has consistently said that so-called bail reform would make New York less safe and now we have the data to prove it. Thousands of violent crimes were committed following the release of individuals who could’ve been denied release were it not for bail reform. Recent state statistics also show that half of all individuals in a New York City ‘bail reform release program’ were rearrested. This isn’t what success looks like. We need to restore common sense to our criminal justice system now,” said Sen. Alexis Weik (R,C-Sayville).

“The bail and discovery reforms enacted two years ago have led to record increases in crime in New York state. Judges must have the ability to make decisions about remanding dangerous criminals to jail for the safety of the communities they serve. We hope that the Legislature will make common-sense changes during this legislative session. Positive changes to the bail reform agenda are vital to the safety of every New Yorker,” said Chief Patrick Phelan (Ret.), Executive Director, New York State Association of Chiefs of Police.

For years, the Minority Conferences successfully led the fight to support and fund law enforcement, as well as enact landmark, tough-on-crime policies such as Megan’s Law, Jenna’s Law and many others designed to toughen penalties for violent criminals and sex offenders - and to provide services to those in need.

In an effort to restore public safety, in 2022, the Assembly Minority Conference will continue to advance their “Restore Order” package of legislation and other critical public safety measures, including: 

  • Restoring Judicial Discretion (A.5265, Reilly) – Restoring judicial discretion to allow judges the ability to determine whether a violent criminal poses a dangerous threat to the community and can be held without bail.
  • Bail for Gun Crimes (A.7066, Barclay) – Removing all gun crimes from the no-bail list of offenses Democrats established in 2019.
  • Parole Reform (A.5737, Barclay) – Requiring a unanimous vote of at least three parole commissioners to grant a prisoner early release, and allowing a majority vote of the Legislature to remove a commissioner from the Parole Board.
  • Three Strikes & You’re In (A.5334, Brabenec) – Authorizing life in prison without parole for persistent violent felony offenders.
  • Shooting Into Crowds (A.4259, Jensen) – Making it a Class B violent felony to fire into a crowded space with the intent to harm.
  • Additional 5 Years for Possession (A.4762, Mikulin) – Providing for an additional 5-year term of imprisonment for committing a felony while possessing a loaded firearm.
  • Bail for Hate Crimes (A.3986, M. Miller) – Making a hate crime a qualified offense for purposes of bail issuance and denying pre-trial.
  • Paula’s Law (A.6017, Lawler) – Preventing the parole of anyone who sexually assaults and murders a child under 18 years of age.
  • Bail Reform Repeal (A.6963-A, Brabenec) – Repealing bail reforms and other criminal justice reforms enacted in Chapters 55 and 59 of the Laws of 2019 and Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2020 and restore prior language.
  • Judicial Discretion for Additional Crimes (A.7772, Lawler) – Adding any crime resulting in death or physical injury to the list of qualifying offenses which allows a judge to impose bail or deny pretrial release, including previously carved-out violent felony crimes.
  • Risk Assessment (A.6933, Tannousis) – Restoring judicial discretion relating to bail reform, and providing that when the defendant is charged with a felony, the court shall request of the applicable county pretrial services agency that a risk and needs assessment be conducted.