NY lawmakers, governor close to ‘general agreement’ on bail reform changes
State lawmakers and the governor are close to a "general agreement" on changes to bail reform as part of ongoing budget negotiations.
This is according to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins who talked to reporters Tuesday at the Capitol.
She says the talks are focused on giving judges additional discretion to implement bail against defendants charged with more serious crimes and making sure judges better understand how the current laws work.
Supporters of the law say there's no correlation between crime and bail reform and believe judges are not applying the law properly.
Opponents say bail reform has made New York less safe.
This breakthrough comes one day after the governor signed a one-week extender bill to pay tens of thousands of state workers through next Monday as budget negotiations linger beyond the April 1 deadline.
Legislative leaders say bail was dominating budget talks and holding up discussions on non-crime issues like housing, taxes and education.
"What we'd like to achieve is justice in the system,” said Stewart-Cousins. “What we'd like to achieve is people actually understanding what the bail laws are about. And also, making sure that judges have discretion."
When asked when lawmakers and the governor could have the entire budget finalized, Stewart-Cousins responded, "Soon."