City Council members deem governor’s initiatives ‘disingenuous,’ call for investment in public safety

ROCHESTER, N.Y. Members of Rochester’s City Council are condemning the governor’s public safety initiatives, calling them disingenuous.

Gov. Kathy Hochul was in Rochester on Tuesday to announce millions of dollars in investments aimed at driving down gun violence and violent crimes. Tuesday night, council members Kim Smith and Stanley Martin said the governor’s proposal fails to address the core issues needed to keep people safe.

Martin said that she wants to address some of the falsehoods coming from our leaders in Albany.

“I’ve not seen something like this before and I said this is important,” Martin said. “It’s an important statement from a community that wants state government to step up and protect them.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul is talking about a major push by law enforcement, city and county leaders and other supporters to get the least restrictive standard removed from our current bail laws.

“We have this inconsistency from the law,” Martin said. “Confusing is understandable, and I want to make sure we remove that one standard.”

Martin believes judges already have a lot of discretion when it comes to who to set bail for.

“Especially if someone is a repeat offender,” Martin said. “So removing this does not really impact the discretion for judges. I think once again when it comes to this bail fight it’s a lot of political sound bites, but not evaluating the true impact of bail.”

To fight gun crime, Hochul says millions of dollars from her budget will end up here in Rochester.

“This year we’re adding $110 million statewide,” Hochul said. “So we will have over $337 million and for the Rochester area this means you’ll be receiving $36 million, up from $18 million a year ago.”

Martin believes money from her budget can be better spent on the people who need help the most.

“We have people who need housing,” Martin said. “Rent prices are going up, but the most vulnerable people in our community are suffering. There are bills at the state level like good cause eviction that will protect tenants. There’s houses access vouching programs. We want to see money funneled into that.”

Hochul says millions more will go to Rochester’s district attorney office. She will increase its budget from $12 million last year to $52 million this year.

Hochul also spoke about funding for organizations that work to curb violence, including $112,000 to renovate the teen center at the Boys and Girls Club in Rochester.