On Friday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams lauded Governor Kathy Hochul for securing a state budget deal that includes portions of his public safety plan.
Adams also took time to call on Hochul and the Legislature to do “a lot more” on the high-stakes issue as crime rates in the city continue to spike.
He revealed that he is happy that the $220 billion budget agreement unveiled by Hochul late Thursday beefs up the state’s bail laws and gives judges more discretion to jail certain classes of defendants.
“But let’s be clear,” Adams said on NY1.
“I think that we have a lot more to do. The session is still in play,” Adams added.
Sources said the budget plan, which was on track to pass Friday after legislators and Hochul blew last week’s deadline, allows judges to consider whether a defendant has a history of arrests for gun crimes or other violent offenses before deciding whether to set bail. In a reversal of the landmark 2017 “Raise the Age” legislation, the budget also gives judges the power to hold defendants younger than 18 criminally liable, meaning they can also be imprisoned pending trial for non-violent offenses.
According to reports, the spending blueprint also rolls back some of the 2020 criminal justice reforms — which sharply limited cash bail — by making certain non-violent repeat offenses, hate crimes, and gun charges bail eligible again.
Moreover, it was learned that the public safety tweaks were all requested by Adams, who has made crime-fighting the top priority of his first 100 days in office amid a steady rise in gun violence in the city.
However, the budget did not include some of Adams’ other public safety asks, including his push for implementing a “dangerousness” standard in the bail law and expanding Kendra’s Law, which allows for court-ordered treatment of severely mentally ill people.
Adams wants “more” public safety action from Albany with the omissions.
“Specifically with the issues around crime, there’s more we must do. Of course, I will continue to partner with the governor and the lawmakers that support this important initiative,” he said.
“We must go after these issues as we deal with public safety in our city because you hear me say it repeatedly: Public safety is a prerequisite to prosperity,” he added.