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GOP lawmakers lay out public safety plan, tough on crime stance

New York Republicans are continuing their calls for state officials to address surging crime ahead of the November election, as well as criticizing what they see as Governor Kathy Hochul’s failures thus far.

U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin, the state GOP’s desired nominee for governor, laid out his public safety plan on Tuesday, January 1, according to Albany Times-Union. He’s pushing for the state to walk back bail reforms, add more discretion for 16 and 17-year-olds accused of crimes, improve correctional facilities, change parole proceedings, and remove district attorneys who don’t fall in line with his vision.

Zeldin’s stance is similar to that of other GOP officials- In a letter to Gov. Kathy Hochul this week, Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt urged the governor to reconsider how the state is allocating money to reduce gun violence.

Republicans often speak about a need for New Yorkers to feel safe and get criminals off the streets, but criminal justice reform advocates see this approach as a band-aid solution to systemic issues.

“It’s a time for people in government to choose what side they are on,” said Zeldin. “Do they want the handcuffs to be on the criminals or the handcuffs to be on law-abiding New Yorkers?”