Prosecutors in New York would receive millions of dollars more to help them implement criminal justice law changes under a proposal by Gov. Kathy Hochul this year as she seeks to navigate the thorny politics of addressing crime and public safety in New York.
The proposal, which would increase funding for local district attorneys to help implement changes to the evidentiary discovery and pre-trial processes, would increase aid from $12 million to $52 million.
The money has been long sought by district attorneys in New York, which they have said is needed to help pay for the changes.
Hochul on Tuesday highlighted the push for the money as well as an expansion of the upstate Crime Analysis Center Network to New York City. She also wants to double funding for the Gun Involved Violence Elimination program to $36 million.
"There is no greater obligation than ensuring every New Yorker can live in safety, and that has always been my number one priority," Hochul said. "We have leveraged local, state, and federal resources to create a one-of-a-kind network that is the backbone of local law enforcement agencies' crime-fighting efforts. We will continue to use state-of-the-art tools and technology to analyze data and share information - allowing investigators to solve murders, robberies, burglaries and gun crimes across the state, and creating a safer New York for all."
The focus on crime and public safety proposals in her agenda comes a day after a Siena College poll found the vast majority of New Yorkers continue to cite the issue as a serious concern for them. Hochul also sparred with her Republican opponent, Rep. Lee Zeldin, over public safety policies last year.
Hochul this year wants to again make changes to New York's law that placed limits on when cash bail is required for many criminal charges by ending the "least restrictive" standard for serious offenses.
Democrats in the state Legislature have not ruled out eembracing the changes, but have also signaled a weariness with doing so once again. Republicans have pressed for a full repeal of the measure.