ALBANY – Top aides to State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-New York) are reportedly meeting with rank-and-file Assembly Democrats who are demanding changes to the controversial bail reform law.
Heastie has publicly been the staunchest advocate of the law, but the The New York Post is reporting closed-door meetings have been taking place on the issue and it appears to be the speaker’s first admission that bail reform should be revisited.
The new bail reform measures went into effect at the start of this year and involve eliminating the potential to impose bail on those accused of misdemeanor and some “non-violent” felony crimes. Since the law went into effect there has been public outcry over the release of individuals who were then re-arrested and charged with committing more crimes.
Criticism of the law is coming from both upstate and downstate Assembly Democrats, who control the chamber. They join Republican lawmakers along with members of law enforcement. Both those groups have been critical of the reform measures even before the new year began.
Already this year both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) have indicated they are open to changes to the law.
Local Sen. George Borrello (R-Irving, 57th Senate District) has also been an outspoken critic of bail reform and was recently appointed chair of the newly established ‘Repeal Bail Reform Task Force’ by Senate Republican Leader John Flanagan.
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