Albany, N.Y., June 10—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats) today voted against legislation approved by the Democrat majorities in the Senate and Assembly that would erase criminal records from public view and provide no protections for victims or law-abiding New Yorkers.
The Senate approved the measure (S7551A/A1029C) with every member of the Senate Republican conference voting in opposition. The Assembly approved it yesterday and the legislation now goes to Governor Kathy Hochul for final action.
The so-called “Clean Slate Act” would seal felony records eight years after a sentence is complete and after three years for misdemeanors. O’Mara and his GOP colleagues said the action continues an alarming trend by the Legislature’s Democrat majorities to keep enacting pro-criminal policies despite rising rates of criminal violence statewide.
O’Mara said, “Another day in Albany, another pro-criminal policy pushed by one-party rule. New York is facing a crisis of rising crime and lawlessness the likes of which we have not seen in years. The crisis, caused in large part by Democrat-led cashless bail and other soft-on-crime policies, could be stopped today if they stopped pushing a radical, pro-criminal agenda. These new actions once again prove that Democrats care more about protecting violent felons and dangerous individuals than they do victims and law-abiding New Yorkers.”
Statewide polling continues to show that New Yorkers view crime as the most critical issue confronting the state.
In 2019, Senate Democrats completely reversed years of public safety progress by turning the state criminal justice system on its head. Over the past three years, the passage of dangerous cashless bail laws, discovery law changes, parole “reforms,” Raise the Age, HALT, and other pro-criminal policies has become commonplace in Albany.
Senate Republicans have responded by sounding the alarm and continuously calling for the enactment of measures to restore public safety in New York. The Senate GOP public protection plan, part of a comprehensive “Rescue New York” agenda released earlier this year, includes:
● Investing in law enforcement and fighting against Democrat efforts to “Defund the Police”;
● Ending cashless bail, restoring judicial discretion, and rejecting dangerous Democrat proposals to erase criminal records;
● Fixing unworkable discovery and “speedy trial” laws that have turned the state’s criminal justice system into a revolving door for repeat and violent offenders;
● Reforming a broken parole system and refocusing the parole process around the protection and rights of crime victims and their families;
● Ensuring that cop-killers, serial killers, child killers, and other dangerous murderers can never be released;
● Heightening penalties for violent and repeat offenders, as well as hate crimes;
● Investing in proven mental health, addiction, homeless, and victims’ programs and services; and
● Strengthening and making Kendra’s Law permanent, to ensure that those struggling with mental illness get the help they need.