NY Republican Leaders Call for a Special Session to Repeal Bail Reform and Restore Public Safety

In light of continued surging crime across the state, a deadly shooting of a Rochester Police Officer & a violent attack on Rep Lee Zeldin, Leader Rob Ortt & Leader Will Barclay call for immediate legislative action

ALBANY, NY – New York State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt and New York State Assembly Republican Leader Will Barclay today called for a  special session of the Legislature to address surging violent crime in communities across New York State. In order to restore public safety, the Republican Leaders are calling for the repeal of the disastrous bail reform laws and other so-called criminal justice reforms passed by One-Party-Rule. 

Last night, two Rochester Police Officers were attacked in a shooting, tragically taking the life of a young 29-year veteran of the force and injuring another officer.

Earlier that day, Congressman Lee Zeldin was attacked on stage during a speech, in which the attacker held a sharp weapon. The attacker was taken into custody, charged with a felony, but immediately released with no bail.

“One-Party-Rule was quick to call a special session to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens. If they actually care about the safety of all New Yorkers, they should be calling a special session to address the violent criminals breaking our laws. Last night, in just one evening, we tragically lost a Rochester police officer in the line of duty and there was a violent attack on Congressman Lee Zeldin. If it wasn’t clear before to the radicals in Albany, it should be as clear as day now: the deadly pro-criminal policies of the Governor and Democratic Majorities have made New Yorkers less safe. Enough is enough. How many more innocent victims must be attacked before Albany politicians wake up?” said Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt.

In the last 24 hours, two Rochester police officers were shot—one fatally—and a gubernatorial candidate was attacked in public. When you consider major crimes in New York City are up nearly 40% this year, there is no doubt – New Yorkers are not safe. I am calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul to convene a special session to take up measures that will hold menacing criminals responsible and repeal bail reform once and for all. There is no other way to stop this unprecedented and unsustainable surge in violence sweeping across our state,” said Assembly Republican Leader Will Barclay.

As a result of the pro-criminal, anti-victim policies like bail reform, New York State has been plagued by surging crime. Major crime has skyrocketed 37% in New York City, Rochester last year experienced the most homicides in 30 years; and New York communities everywhere in between are less safe.

The Senate and Assembly Republican conferences have been a leading voice for calling for a repeal of the disastrous bail reform laws since they were first passed in 2019. At the beginning of this year’s legislative session, the conferences unveiled the “Restore Public Safety Agenda,” which called for:

  • Protecting Those Who Protect Us:

    • Invest in law enforcement;
    • Provide them with the support they need to make our communities safe and serve those in need; and
    • Fight Democrat efforts to “Defund the Police.”
       
  • Rejecting Dangerous “Reforms” like Cashless Bail:
    • End cashless bail, restore judicial discretion and reject proposals like “Clean Slate”;
    • Require state agencies to be transparent about the effects of public safety policies; and
    • Enact policies that get dangerous individuals off our streets.
       
  • Reforming the Broken Parole System:
    • Recenter the Parole process around the protection and rights of crime victims and their families;
    • Ensure that cop-killers, serial killers, child killers, and other dangerous murderers can NEVER be released; and
    • Reject dangerous Democrat proposals like “Elder Parole” and “Fair and Timely Parole.”
       
  • Passing a Victims’ Justice Agenda:
    • Strengthen penalties for violent and repeat offenders, as well as hate crimes;
    • Create and support more victims’ services and resources; and
    • Invest in proven mental health, addiction, and homeless programs.
       

“Countless New Yorkers are falling victim to crime every day. Yesterday’s events have shined a tragic spotlight on that fact. Restoring public safety cannot wait – it’s time for the political ruling class to make the safety of New Yorkers a priority. Governor Hochul must convene a special session to finally repeal these disastrous pro-criminal policies that have made New Yorkers less safe,” concluded Leader Ortt.

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