Senate Majority Leader announces proposed changes to new Bail Reform Law


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins announced today plans to address bail reform, but the proposed changes to this legislation are leaving both sides outraged.

It’s been a little more than one month after this bill went into effect, and now Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins is calling on getting rid of cash bail completely while allowing judges some discretion with strict guidelines.

Some say bail reform must be completely repealed while others say we must wait to see how the original legislation plays out.

“There have been some Democrats that have proposed the idea of eliminating bail for every crime and then giving judges discretion,” Senator George Borrello said. “This is just a half-hearted attempt to try and make it look like they’re doing something. I’d be surprised if it goes anywhere.”

In a statement released Wednesday, Stewart-Cousins said, “The reforms will ensure that no one will be incarcerated simply because of their inability to pay and that no one will be let out of prison because of their enormous wealth.”

Under recently enacted Bail Reform Laws, judges cannot set bail on nonviolent felonies and most misdemeanors.

The changes proposed this week would get rid of cash bail completely while giving judges some discretion if they follow “strict guidelines.”

But it’s not just those who oppose bail reform that are unhappy with this proposal. Many in favor say there is no need for change and some consider it too soon to amend the law before seeing how it plays out.

At this point, it’s still in the very early stages of making these changes to bail reform. The amendments will need to be written then voted upon by lawmakers before they could go into effect

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