Hearing will be live streamed on Facebook starting at 2 p.m.
BUFFALO – Republicans from the New York State Senate will hold their first Repeal Bail Reform Task Force hearing Thursday afternoon in Buffalo.
Chaired by Sen. George Borrello (R-Irving, 57th Senate District), the task force is holding a series of statewide hearings on the impact criminal justice and bail reform changes have had since going into effect on Jan. 1.
The forums have been scheduled in response to public outcry against the new law, which Borrello and other Republicans say was forced through the budget process last year by the Governor and Senate and Assembly Democrats. Republicans in Albany also claim Democrats failed to hold a single public hearing before passing the sweeping changes
The new bail reform law eliminates cash bail for most misdemeanors and non-violent felonies. The discovery reform requires all evidence in criminal proceedings to be turned over to the defense within 15 days of an arrest taking place.
The goal of the Senate Republican task force is to hear from prosecutors, law enforcement officers, probation officials, victims and victims’ advocates and community residents so they can share their concerns over the new law. At least one public defender and one legal aid society representative are also scheduled to speak. Both Jamestown police chief Harry Snellings and Chautauqua County Sheriff James Quattrone are expected to be in Buffalo for the hearing.
Data released by the NYPD found that New York City experienced its worst January for serious crime in five years, including a 70 increase in auto theft and 35 percent increase in robbery. The city of Jamestown has also seen a 72% uptick in the number of bench warrants issued out of city court for failing to appear so far in 2020. Both public safety committee chair Brent Sheldon and Chief Snellings have attributed the increase to bail reform.
The hearing will be streamed via Facebook live at https://www.facebook.com/nysenaterepubs/.