top of page

Welcome to Crime and Justice News

NY Gov Touts New Rollback in Bail Reform Ahead Of 2024 Elections

Less than 12 hours after New York lawmakers approved a state budget, Gov. Kathy Hochul was promoting her biggest victory: legislation toughening the state’s bail laws. She blitzed the New York City morning shows. She promoted the policy with prosecutors and Mayor Eric Adams. She immediately linked the issue to 2024 — a preemptive strike on the GOP., reports Politico. “Individuals running next year for Congress on down can talk about how Democrats take public safety very seriously,” Hochul said. “This is not a Republican-owned issue. It’s something that we’re the ones leading on. We’re the ones solving the problems and not just standing on the sidelines taking potshots.” The move marks an early attempt to gain the high ground after Republicans seized on the state’s bail laws as evidence Democrats are weak on crime, fueling embarrassing losses for House Democrats in New York. The governor’s new strategy could shape next year’s House races, and maybe even control of Congress. It could also prove a tough and complicated sell to voters.

The new law will give judges greater authority to decide whether an individual can be held on bail. The tweaks mark a third round of rollbacks of progressive bail laws Democrats passed in 2019. Hochul’s team realized too late in the midterm cycle that public safety and the economy — not abortion rights — were animating New York voters. The result was the closest governor’s race since 1994, and Democrats were swept out of all four House seats on Long Island, as well as battleground races in the Hudson Valley. The blame landed squarely on New York Democrats and especially Hochul, a messaging mishap that former Speaker Nancy Pelosi said state leaders should have recognized earlier. Former GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin’s gubernatorial campaign focused on rising crime rates in big New York cities, and he blamed the bail laws for permitting dangerous individuals to walk free. Democrats attempted to argue that there is little evidence linking crime spikes to New York’s bail laws and pointed to larger, national crime trends that were influenced by the pandemic. Still, Zeldin and GOP House candidates successfully used the issue to gain ground in the critical New York City suburbs.


Recent Posts

See All


A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

bottom of page