(New York, NY) In response to Governor Cuomo’s executive budget for fiscal year 2019, which was presented in Albany yesterday, State Senator Brian A. Benjamin (Harlem - D) issued the following statement:
“I applaud Governor Cuomo for including funds for expanding voting rights and for continued support of Minority and Women Owned Businesses in his executive budget. You cannot underestimate the effect this investment will have on our communities.
“I am also glad that Governor Cuomo is continuing to push to reform bail practices, reduce pre-trial detention, reform the discovery process, and ensure access to a speedy trial for all New Yorkers.
Any serious approach to these reforms must include closing facilities like Rikers Island, which represent the worst aspects of our broken criminal justice system. I look forward to working with the Governor and the State Commission of Correction as they devise and execute a plan to close such facilities, and I hope that the Governor will provide any necessary resources to do so in the final version of this year’s budget.”