New York Assembly and Senate Minorities: “Restore Public Safety Now!”

Assemblymen Michael Reilly (R-Staten Island) and Michael Tannousis (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn) joined Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay (R,C,I,-Pulaski), Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt (R-North Tonawanda), their Minority legislative colleagues, and law enforcement professionals from around the state earlier today to call for an immediate restoration of public safety in New York. 

Following the Majorities’ push for a radical, pro-criminal agenda in 2019, New York has become a criminal haven, facing numerous public safety challenges, including:

  • A 46.7% increase in murders from 2019 to 2020;
  • Overall index crime in New York City increased by 21.3% in November 2021, compared with November 2020;
  • Hate crime rates in NYC increased 97% from November 2020 to November 2021;
  • Firearm related violent crime increased by 28.9% from 2020 to 2021 in New York outside of New York City; and
  • According to the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, New York has the highest demand for domestic violence services in the country.

For years, Minority lawmakers successfully led the fight to support and fund law enforcement, as well as enact landmark, tough-on-crime policies such as Megan’s Law, Jenna’s Law, and many others designed to toughen penalties for violent criminals and sex offenders – and to provide services to those need.

In an effort to restore public safety, in 2022, Assembly Minority will continue to advance their “Restore Order” package of legislation and other critical public safety measures, including:

  • Restoring Judicial Discretion (A.5265, Reilly) – Restoring judicial discretion to allow judges the ability to determine whether a violent criminal poses a dangerous threat to the community and can be held without bail.
  • Bail for Gun Crimes (A.7066, Barclay) – Removing all gun crimes from the no-bail list of offenses established in 2019.
  • Parole Reform (A.5737, Barclay) – Requiring a unanimous vote of at least three parole commissioners to grant a prisoner early release and allowing a majority vote of the Legislature to remove a commissioner from the Parole Board.
  • Three Strikes & You’re In (A.5334, Brabenec) – Authorizing life in prison without parole for persistent violent felony offenders.
  • Shooting Into Crowds (A.4259, Jensen) – Making it a Class B violent felony to fire into a crowded space with the intent to harm.
  • Additional 5 Years for Possession (A.4762, Mikulin) – Providing for an additional 5-year term of imprisonment for committing a felony while possessing a loaded firearm.
  • Bail for Hate Crimes (A.3986, M. Miller) – Making a hate crime a qualified offense for purposes of bail issuance and denying pre-trial.
  • Paula’s Law (A.6017, Lawler) – Preventing the parole of anyone who sexually assaults and murders a child under 18 years of age.
  • Bail Reform Repeal (A.6963-A, Brabenec) – Repealing bail reforms and other criminal justice reforms enacted in Chapters 55 and 59 of the Laws of 2019 and Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2020 and restore prior language.
  • Judicial Discretion for Additional Crimes (A.7772, Lawler) – Adding any crime resulting in death or physical injury to the list of qualifying offenses which allows a judge to impose bail or deny pretrial release, including previously carved-out violent felony crimes.
  • Risk Assessment (A.6933, Tannousis) – Restoring judicial discretion relating to bail reform, and providing that when the defendant is charged with a felony, the court shall request of the applicable county pretrial services agency that a risk and needs assessment be conducted.

“The safety of our citizens should be the top priority for anyone who holds public office. But year after year, Majority lawmakers have done everything in their power to undermine our laws, pardon violent criminals and make it harder for police to protect the communities they serve. Those who supported and celebrated ‘bail reform’ as a means to make communities safer have lost all credibility on issues of law and order. They are responsible for establishing a system that enables crime and ignores criminal behavior, and it’s time to reverse course. Liberals’ platform on criminal justice isn’t simply misguided – it’s actually dangerous,” said Barclay.

 “As a former Lieutenant with the New York City Police Department, I understand better than most the consequences of Albany Majority lawmakers weak-on-crime agenda and the impact that it is having on communities across our state. Today, I stand with my Minority colleagues, just as we have done many times before, to demand that Albany Majority take action that’ll restore law and order once and for all with the passage of our legislation,” said Reilly.

“Bad policy and refusal by radical officials to enforce the law have resulted in a public-safety crisis in New York,” said Tannousis. “Our skyrocketing crime and murder rates are absolutely unacceptable. As a prosecutor, I saw firsthand what it takes to keep our communities safe and it starts with returning to common-sense public safety policy and holding criminals accountable for their actions.”