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NYS Budget: What to know about changes to state bail reform law

A number of long-awaited public safety measures were included in the FY 2023 Enacted Budget passed by the New York State Legislature on Saturday.

These newly-approved public safety measures include changes to New York’s Bail Reform Law, which was enacted in 20219 under former Governor Andrew Cuomo. Let’s take a closer look at the bail law changes.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

Repeat offenses and hate crimes

The FY 2023 Enacted Budget expands the lists of factors that judges can consider when setting bail. These additional factors include 1) history of gun use and possession; 2) any previous violation of an order of protection; 3) whether a charge is alleged to have caused serious harm to individual(s).

Additionally, the budget allows police to make arrests for all repeat offenses covered by the bail law. Previously, they could only issue desk appearance tickets. Arrest-eligible and bail-eligible offenses include 1) Repeat felonies and class A misdemeanors involving harm to a person or property and 2) Repeat offenses involving theft of property (with limited exceptions for crimes of poverty).

Additionally, all hate crimes not currently arrest-eligible will become arrest-eligible if offender is over 18 years old.

The “Desk Appearance Ticket loophole” will also be closed, meaning provisions of the law will apply to repeat offenses even if an arraignment has not yet taken place for the first offense.

Related: Republicans call on Hochul to address bail reform laws

Gun crimes

Judges in New York were already permitted to set bail for most gun crimes. The new law adds less common crimes to the bail-eligible list. Those additions include the sale of a firearm to a minor and a lower threshold for gun trafficking charges.

Related: Cayuga County Sheriff says bail reform hurts many of those it’s designed to help

To read the full list of public safety measures included in the FY 2023 Enacted Budget, check out this press release from the Governor’s Office.