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Lawmakers see progress, but remain split on Hochul’s public safety budget

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  • Staff Report 

Governor Kathy Hochul’s focus on public safety in her proposed 2025 state budget has received mixed reactions from New York lawmakers. The budget addresses retail theft, domestic violence, hate crimes, and mental health, with a $40 million allocation for a specialized unit in the state police to target resale operations of stolen goods. State Assemblymember John McDonald expressed support for these initiatives, particularly in tackling mental health and retail theft issues.


However, questions arise regarding the legislative response to increased penalties, especially for assaults on retail workers. McDonald highlights the need for protecting victims of such crimes. State Sen. Patrick Gallivan, the ranking member on the Crime Victims, Crime, and Corrections Committee, commended the governor’s approach to domestic violence and mental health but called for acknowledgment and reversal of recent policy shifts that he believes have exacerbated public safety issues.

Senate Republicans, including Gallivan, have outlined an agenda focused on reversing bail and discovery reform, controlling spending, and supporting veterans. The ongoing budget negotiations will determine how these varying perspectives shape New York’s public safety strategies.