Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday said he is "100 percent" willing to make changes to the state's new cash bail law, but questioned whether adding a "dangerousness" standard would take the law back to the original proposal.
State lawmakers, including increasingly Democrats from suburban and upstate legislative districts, have called for changes amid the implementation of the measure, which ended cash bail requirements for misdemeanors and non-violent felony offenses.
"Do I believe the reform is a work in progress? 100 percent," Cuomo said at an unrelated news conference in New York City. "Am I open to changes? 100 percent."
Still, Cuomo was skeptical of allowing judges to determine whether a defendant is too dangerous to be released, which some lawmakers are now seeking as an alteration.
"The dangerousness standard basically takes us back to where we were," he said.
Updated: In a statement senior advisor to the governor Rich Azzopardi clarified Cuomo's comments.
"'The dangerous standard, basically takes us back to where we were' he was talking about his original bail reform proposal, which had it in there," he said.
Cuomo praised the effort to overhaul New York's criminal justice system, and he called the previous system cash bail "repugnant."
"You make one change and it has a ripple effect," he said. "You turn one gear and it affects a lot of other gears and many people get unhappy with the change. It takes a certain amount of courage to make change in the system."
Cuomo has not endorsed specific changes, but beyond the dangerousness standard has been a proposal that would allow judges to use a formula in considering whether a person can be released prior to trial.
Republicans and law enforcement have pressed for changes, highlighting cases in which people charged with serious crimes have been released. Defenders of the law have said those cases have been used to stoke fears about the issue.
Cuomo, too, suggested some of the cases have been misleadingly attributed to the bail law.
"You track it down, it had nothing to do with the bail system," he said.