State Sen. Skoufis to propose amendment to bail reform law

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State Sen. James Skoufis discussed bail reform Wednesday ahead of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address in Albany.

Cuomo did not mention the controversial new law in his address.

Skoufis says an immediate change to the new criminal justice reform is needed for public safety.

"We are a week into these new bail reforms and we've seen far too many examples - enough examples - of how we desperately need to improve this law," said Skoufis.

Skoufis said he plans to push for an immediate amendment to bail reform. The amendment would give judges discretion to set bail if a suspect is considered dangerous based on criminal history, the offense and flight risk.

His bail reform amendment is supported by Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler.

"Details still need to be worked out with all the stakeholders at the table, but this legislation is a reasonable first step to a public safety-oriented solution," said Hoovler.

Skoufis says he supports bail reform but always had concerns about the law as is, and chose to approve it in the budget to avoid a government shutdown. Skoufis' bill expands the use of ankle monitoring in cases with no bail.

Cuomo hinted earlier this week at the need for bail reform changes but there has been no word yet on what that might be.

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