Governor Proposes Getting Rid Of Bail For Some CrimesPosted: Updated:
Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to end the practice of requiring criminal defendants to post monetary bail in misdemeanor and non-violent felony cases.
The Democrat says the longstanding practice of accepting cash bail is unfair, since it allows suspects with financial resources to go free while those without must wait in jail until their trials begin.
Cuomo is proposing instead to release those defendants on their own recognizance or require them to check in with officials.
Suspects accused of violent crimes or felonies could still be required to post bail to win release or be held without bail entirely in some circumstances.
The changes must be approved by lawmakers and are part of a broader criminal reform package announced ahead of Cuomo's state of the state address Wednesday.
The address will outline the governor's priorities for 2018 and is being given on the first day of the state legislative session.
He's already announced plans to overhaul state sexual harassment policies, create new disclosure rules for online political ads and join most other states in allowing early election voting.
Cuomo, a possible presidential candidate in 2020, is also expected to discuss the state's efforts to resist Republican President Donald Trump when it comes to new policies on environmental protection, taxes, immigration, and health care.
This year's budget will be especially difficult for Cuomo and lawmakers, who have to contend with a $4 billion deficit in the $150 billion spending plan.