State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins says she wants to roll back portions of the bail reform passed last year, which has proved unpopular with some New Yorkers, particularly in the suburbs like Long Island. It's perhaps no coincidence that she first spoke about her concerns with bail reform with the Long Island-based newspaper Newsday.
Her proposal was quickly rejected by the state Assembly, at least for now.
"We have to be very careful not to rush to do something that underscores why we took on this issue in the first place, which could end up causing more people to be incarcerated pre-trial and before they've been convicted of a crime," Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said.
The Senate's proposed changes to the current bail reform law include:
No cash bail for all misdemeanors, except sex and hate crimes
For all other crimes, judicial discretion to either remand or impose electronic monitoring
Any crime involving a fatality would be eligible for remand
The bail reform was passed last year as part of the budget without a single public hearing. Since it went into effect in January, there has been a 17 percent spike in crime in New York City, according to the NYPD.
But at a rally in support of holding the line on bail and not making any changes, some Assembly members took aim at the recently elected Long Island Democratic senators, also known as the "Long Island 6."
"You've got six members who want to take us back in time. You tell me what the equation looks like," Democratic Brooklyn Assemblyman Walter Mosley said at the rally. "Put your resources where Democrats are going to support other Democrats! And those that don't want to act like Democrats? Take those resources away from them!"
"We are not going back on bail!" Democratic Bronx Assemblyman Michael Blake said. "This is real! We are talking about lives. This is not about you getting re-elected; it's about doing the right thing."
At times, the language used at the rally was incendiary. Heastie was asked to respond to the volume level.
"This is a very emotional thing to people," Heastie said. "That's why I'm saying I think we need to be cautious…and wait for data before we react to everything."
But it's not just the Senate calling for amending the bail law. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has also left the door open to making changes, and Mayor Bill de Blasio has made clear that he would like changes as well.
Asked if he felt undermined by that, Heastie said, "I'm a big boy, I'll be fine."