New York State releases crime data ahead of budget vote

ALBANY, N.Y. — Governor Kathy Hochul has announced new crime data. She is also making the case for the public safety portion of her proposed New York State Budget.

Let’s go in-depth on that new data and Hochul’s budget proposal. Key crime stats still aren’t down to pre-pandemic levels. In parts of the state outside of New York City, the murder rate is down 11% since 2021. However, robberies are up 8%, aggravated assaults are up 1%, and motor vehicle thefts are up 12%.

Hochul’s budget proposes more than $491 million across two categories, crime reduction and helping courts as they work to get back on their feet after disruptions during the pandemic. To reduce crime, funding would go to employment, gang prevention programs, and a lot more.

For the courts, Hochul wants more prosecution funding for every district attorney’s office in the state and a blanket $20 million for pre-trial services. The budget also proposes getting rid of the “least restrictive” standard from the state bail law, which has seriously confused judges and prevented them from keeping suspects in custody.

“I want to remove any question about whether a judge has discretion to set bail or remand individuals meaning hold them if they’re accused of a serious crime,” Hochul said. “I want to make it absolutely clear that judges have both the authority and the accountability for these important decisions.”

The state budget is due April 1.