State Sen. Fred Akshar’s latest Community Voice Survey follows a recent Siena College Poll that showed declining support for New York’s new bail law that releases many people charged with felonies without bail or bond. Akshar’s local poll showed a majority — 49 percent of respondents — said the changes were bad for New York, while 37 percent said new laws are good for the Empire State.
“It’s clear that as the public learns more and begins to see the practical consequences of this misguided new law, their opinions are shifting to align with district attorneys, and law enforcement professionals throughout the state,” said Akshar, whose 52nd District includes Tioga and Broome counties. “I’ve made it clear that I’ve been strongly opposed to this ill-conceived law, but I want to hear what the people of the 52nd Senate District think.”
Akshar’s constituents are still urged to visit Akshar.NYSenate.Gov and voice their opinion on whether they support or oppose the new bail law or feel that changes need to be made.
The new bail reform measures were passed as part of the 2019-2020 Budget, and was passed solely through votes from Democratic members in both the Senate and Assembly.
“The law as currently written is a slap in the face to law-abiding citizens across the state,” said Akshar. “It’s created a revolving door that indiscriminately shuffles violent, non-violent, and repeat criminals in and out of the justice system as their crimes continue to multiply, but it’s not enough to criticize the terrible decisions those in power have made without offering solutions.
While Akshar does support a full repeal, he has also introduced legislation to fix key parts of the bail reform law, including a bill to restore bail for the violent and dangerous crimes, including manslaughter in the 2nd degree, criminally negligent homicide, reckless assault of a child, facilitating a sexual performance by a child, aggravated vehicular manslaughter, menacing, unlawful imprisonment, arson, criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds, failure to register as a sex offender, aggravated cruelty to animals, animal torture, stalking, burglary, robbery, hate crimes, patronizing a person for prostitution in a school zone, money laundering in support of terrorism, and aggravated assault.
Akshar also introduced legislation to remove the option of cashless bail if the arrested individual has been convicted of a felony in the past 10 years.