Watch CBS News

Gov. Hochul plans sweeping public safety package aimed at changing bail reform laws

Gov. Hochul lays out plan to reform bail laws 03:23

NEW YORK -- Gov. Kathy Hochul wants to give judges more discretion to detain criminal defendants based on their criminal history.

It's a bold move by Hochul to force a reluctant legislature to change bail reform laws, CBS2's Marcia Kramer reported Thursday.

Hochul is seeking things New York City Mayor Eric Adams has been demanding for months. But it comes after the governor has been subjected to relentless criticism from her opponents -- in both parties.

"We want you to feel safe in your homes," said Lee Zeldin, a GOP gubernatorial candidate.

Zeldin, who chose former NYPD Deputy Inspector Alison Esposito as his running mate, made it clear that his calling card as a candidate would be public safety and the Democrats' reluctance to do bail reform.

GOP candidate Andrew Giuliani upped the ante, giving Hochul a derogatory new name.

"Crime wave Kathy," Giuliani said.

So it's no surprise that Hochul has been privately developing a sweeping public safety package that includes a host of options for keeping the bad guys, especially repeat offenders, behind bars.

The 10-point plan, a copy of which was obtained by CBS2, would:

  • Give judges more discretion to detain criminal defendants on bail.
  • Make repeat offenders subject to arrest and bail eligible.
  • Make certain gun-related offenses, hate crimes and subway crimes subject to arrest instead of a desk appearance ticket.
  • Make gun-related offenses bail eligible.
  • Make it easier to go after gun traffickers.
  • Change the so-called Raise the Age Law so that 16-year-old underage offenders face criminal responsibility. It's currently age 18.

The governor is seeking to have the reforms adopted as part of the budget which is due April 1. To make it more palatable to lawmakers, the plan also includes:

  • Increased funding for mental health treatment.
  • Increased funding for pretrial, diversion and employment programs.

The reaction from the legislature was dead silence. Spokespeople from State Senate and Assembly leaders refused to comment on the plan.

Hochul's press secretary Hazel Crampton-Hays said, "As the Governor has said consistently since becoming Governor, she does not negotiate in public. We look forward to continuing to work with the legislature to deliver a budget that serves New Yorkers."

The one Democrat who was more than happy to talk about bail reform was former governor Andrew Cuomo who, in his second public appearance since resigning in August, told Hispanic clergy members in the Bronx on Thursday that there is a critical need for bail reform.

WATCH: Andrew Cuomo stirs speculation about run for governor

Andrew Cuomo stirs speculation about run for governor 00:49

Cuomo talked about the cowardice of lawmakers to actually do it.

"This is a hard vote because the extremists don't want anything done," Cuomo said. "I will wager anyone in this room, if they don't pass a law changing bail reform in the budget in two weeks, there won't be any meaningful reform by the end of the session in June. That is my bet."

Cuomo also played coy about his political intentions.

"The reason I have the political enemies in Albany is because I fought for you, not for them. They didn't hire me, they didn't elect me, you did, and I have never forgotten that, so I feel good about that and I feel good about our record. I have a lot of options. I'm open to all of them," he said.

When asked directly if he is going to run for governor, all he would say is that he's keeping his options open. He hinted he wouldn't necessarily have to run as a Democrat, but could form a new political party.

Meanwhile, the two ads Cuomo has been running, touting his record, have proved to be a financial bonanza. They've brought in more than $2 million in donations.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.