NEW YORK (PIX11) — A number of lawmakers have begun echoing the call by New York City Mayor Eric Adams to change the state’s controversial bail reform law. But they’re not members of Adams’ political party, and they don’t have a lot of control over state government right now.
“He came out with an important, courageous stance,” Republican congressman and gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin said.
The most full-throated endorsement of Adams’ new gun violence prevention plan seems to becoming from Republicans.
“There are people in his party up for election, they have a primary this June that they might want to potentially avoid,” Zeldin said.
Adams wants judges to consider dangerousness when considering bail. He also said he wants teenagers caught with guns to be tried as adults if they don’t turn over the adults who gave them the weapon.
Legislative leadership, including speaker Carl Heastie and Sensate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, have said people are scapegoating bail reform for a rise in crime. They point out the majority of those who benefit from it do not commit more violent crime while out of bail.
Gov. Kathy Hochul said she will take Adams’ plan under advisement, but added that too often low income people of color are accused of low level offenses, and rot in jail for lack of funds.
“I will absolutely stand behind the fundamental promise of why we needed bail reform in the first place,” she said.
To be clear, most New York Republicans do not just want to tweak the recent criminal justice reforms like Adams is proposing — in fact, many want to do away with them. Zeldin said there is room for compromise.
“There is a will amongst New Yorkers for people on both sides of the aisle to come together, because cashless bail, as it stands right now, is eroding public safety on our streets,” Zeldin said.