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Hochul stuck between two sides in bail debate

Mar 22, 2022 2:02 pm

Nick Reisman reports at New York State of Politics that Democrats are split: progressives do not want to jail people who are considered innocent by the courts, and conservative Democrats do. Gov. Kathy Hochul is trying to find a middle ground. "I have 10 days to work that out," Hochul said on March 21. "I didn't sign up for this job because I thought it was easy." Anyone arrested for a crime is innocent until proven guilty, but Republicans, and some Democrats, want to lock most arrestees up before their trials. Progressive Democrats recently overturned that system, but now conservative Democrats are backpedaling in the face of attack ads from Republicans. So far, Hochul has said she wants to strengthen Kendra's Law, which requires people who have mental health issues receive treatment. Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins has said a "national Republican campaign of fear" is behind the efforts to lock up innocent New Yorkers. Progressives are hosting rallies to keep the innocent from being held with bail, while Republicans hold press conference denouncing the policy. Hochul is stuck between the two sides. "The public is aware that I share their concerns about public safety and that's why we're working with my team and working with the legislators to craft a position and a policy and work toward getting it in the budget that I believe is working to respond to the needs right now," Hochul said. The resolution will come in the state budget, which lawmakers need to approve by April 1. Read more about this story at New York State of Politics.