ALBANY, NY — The New York State Senate Republican Conference today announced a statewide ‘Repeal Bail Reform Taskforce’ to collect testimony from law enforcement officers, prosecutors, victims, local leaders, and the public who were shut out from publicly commenting before Democrats forced dangerous criminal justice reform changes upon the state.
Senate Republican Leader John J. Flanagan appointed Senator George Borrello to chair the effort, and Senators Patrick Gallivan and Sue Serino to serve as co-chairs.
The Repeal Bail Reform Taskforce will convene on February 6 in Buffalo, with upcoming roundtables on Long Island, and in the Hudson Valley and Syracuse.
“Dangerous pro-criminal bail reform has made a mockery of the justice system, allowing violent criminals, serial bank robbers, and even killers to freely parade the streets. This is not justice. It is an insult to crime victims and their families, to the public and to every person who serves to uphold our law. The Senate Republican Repeal Bail Reform Taskforce will listen to the facts about how this is impacting communities as we continue to fight to repeal this disastrous law,” said Leader Flanagan.
“There is no band aid or half-measure that can stop the horrible impact of this irresponsible ‘reform.’ The voices of law enforcement, victim advocates, local government officials, and victims themselves, who have been ignored, will now be heard,” said Senator Borrello.
“The so-called bail reforms implemented this year have presented new challenges for law enforcement, judges, and prosecutors. We need to hear from these individuals and others who have been impacted by these changes. As a former State Trooper and Sheriff of Erie County, I believe ensuring public safety is our most important job, and I look forward to hearing from those responsible for keeping our communities safe,” said Senator Gallivan.
“It’s only January and we are already seeing how this rush to reform is clearly jeopardizing public safety. If Albany refuses to hear the voices of victims, and of the men and women who work to keep our communities safe, at the very least, we can give them a platform so the public can hear their concerns clearly. This Repeal Bail Reform Task Force will play a critical role in making these voices be heard as we continue to fight for a repeal of the measures. I govern by listening and I suggest Albany starts doing the same before these changes result in any more senseless tragedies,” said Senator Serino.
The Repeal Bail Reform Taskforce will solicit testimony from experts and the public directly impacted by the new law. Democrats failed to hold a single public hearing before passing sweeping changes to the state’s criminal justice laws, which include major changes to bail and discovery law. These pro-criminal shifts in policy have been panned by the public, and a recent Siena poll found that over half of New Yorkers disagree with the policy change.
Since the bail reform took effect on January 1, over 90% of crimes became eligible for mandatory release, including manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, violent assault, and burglary.