For the first time in memory, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was in Albany this week but did not meet with his most consistent ally in state government: Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.


Sources told NY1 the two leaders had a nasty falling out over the phone Sunday over bail reform, with the mayor pushing for changes and Heastie reluctant to make any.

"The question here that I've always felt is we have to do some other things beyond it, things that would have been necessary whether there was a bail reform or not, in terms of ensuring that judges have the ability to act on something other than just flight risk," said de Blasio, a Democrat.

"Once you start to put in judges' opinions and prosecutors' opinions, you start to get to different people being treated differently," Heastie, a fellow Democrat, said in an interview with members of the news media Wednesday. "I just think that people should have patience. It's day seven."

Last year, the state legislature passed bail reform, ending cash bail for many crimes. But unlike in other states, New York did not include a "dangerousness standard" allowing judges to keep people locked up if they pose a risk to society.

An alarming rise in hate crimes has prompted calls from lawmakers to revisit the bail law and give judges more discretion.

"Obviously there are some unintended consequences. I respect the legislative process. I understand that the legislature will be revisiting these issues, particularly as they relate to hate crimes," New York Attorney General Letitia James said Wednesday. "I respect the legislative process and will defer to them."

And while Heastie says he is not open to making any changes to the bail reform law, his counterpart, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, would not rule it out.

"We listen. We are interested in making the justice system just. And we are paying attention as it continues, to see if there are any necessary tweaks," Stewart-Cousins, also a Democrat, said Thursday.


What everyone can agree on is that the bail reform is hugely important and affects tens of thousands of lives. But in the lead up to passing it last year, the legislature failed to hold a single public hearing.