Albany, N.Y., January 23—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats) today joined members of the Senate and Assembly Republican conferences to unveil a package of “Create a Safer New York” proposals to strengthen support for law enforcement, fix the state’s broken criminal justice system, crack down on illegal gun crime, and better protect crime victims and law-abiding New Yorkers.
Senate and Assembly Republicans held a news conference at the Capitol this afternoon to announce the legislative priorities. Members of law enforcement and victims’ advocates joined the lawmakers.
O'Mara said, "From misguided bail, prison discipline and parole reforms stemming from the ‘defund the police’ movement, we have seen over the past several years this Legislature move in directions that many of us believe pose a serious danger to public safety and security throughout New York State. This state has become less safe. We need to keep working against the Albany Democrats’ extreme, criminal-coddling law enforcement policies, stand behind our police officers, and resist radical efforts that threaten the safety and stability of our communities and neighborhoods.”
[View Senator O'Mara's opening remarks at today's news conference HERE.]
[View the entire news conference HERE.]
“As crime is on the rise throughout New York State, our Democratic colleagues in the Legislature continue to double-down on more soft-on-crime policies that will put our communities at greater risk. Public safety remains a top priority for Senate Republicans, and we will continue to advocate for common-sense proposals to support law enforcement, put victims over criminals, and end the revolving door of our criminal justice system. We cannot have a strong, healthy state without public safety,” said Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt.
“New Yorkers are not adequately protected under current state law. Qualified judges are prohibited from using basic, common-sense assessments of threat levels posed by the individuals coming before them, and the results have been critically disastrous. We have seen the full measure of what these policies are doing to our communities, and it is abundantly clear we must drastically change course now, before the situation deteriorates any further,” said Assembly Republican Leader Will Barclay.
To provide much-needed support to law enforcement, fix the state’s broken criminal justice system, crack down on illegal gun crime, and protect victims and innocent New Yorkers, Republicans proposed to:
Support Law Enforcement
- Create the SAFER Communities Grant Program to invest in critical investigatory and prosecutorial resources designed to increase case clearance rates for homicide and gun crimes;
- Repeal HALT to protect our corrections officers; and
- Allow the use of familial DNA to give law enforcement more investigatory tools.
Fix the Broken Criminal Justice System
- Roll back disastrous bail and discovery laws, and provide for judicial discretion to stop the revolving door in our criminal justice system;
- Oppose soft-on-crime policies being advanced by the Democrat Majorities, including the so-called “Clean Slate” Act, “Elder Parole,” and others; and
- Increase penalties for habitual repeat offenders who commit crimes that harm New Yorkers’ quality of life.
Crack Down on Illegal Gun Crime
- Reduce the use of illegal firearms with increased funding for gun interdiction efforts;
- Increase penalties for crimes committed with stolen firearms, and mandatory consecutive sentencing for crimes involving illegal firearms; and
- Make any misdemeanor or felony offense involving an illegal firearm bail eligible and amend Raise the Age to ensure 16- and 17-year-olds charged with certain gun or gang-related crimes are prosecuted as adults.
Protect Victims and Innocent New Yorkers
- Restrict the release of identifying information in certain cases, and put in place policies to protect victims’ rights during the parole process;
- Increase the caps on Office of Victim Services reimbursements for crime victims, and invest in victim support programs; and
- Authorize judges to set lifetime orders of protection for certain crimes, such as violent and domestic violence felonies.
Today’s legislative package is the first in a series of comprehensive proposals that will be put forth by the Republican Conferences this session to reduce crime, strengthen public safety, and protect victims and innocent, law-abiding New Yorkers.