Mayor Eric Adams traveled to Albany yesterday in a bipartisan effort to negotiate with both Democratic and Republican legislative leaders about rolling back some of the state’s bail reforms from recent years.
Before meeting with state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins (D – Yonkers), Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D – Bronx) and both majority conferences, Adams sat down with Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay (R – Oswego) and Assemblyman Mike Tannousis (R – Staten Island, Brooklyn). According to Michael Fraser, Barclay’s spokesman, Adams’ meeting with GOP leaders also focussed on battling the city’s rise in crime over the past year.
“Obviously, there’s a crisis in New York City and we know the mayor has stated his position that something needs to be addressed,” Fraser said. “And obviously there’s some common interest in addressing crime and some of the policies that our conference has pushed.”
The mayor’s office, on the other hand, was much less forthcoming about what was discussed with GOP leaders. When a reporter asked a City Hall spokesman what the conversation focussed on, he declined to provide any details from the meeting.
“The mayor met with a number of legislators in Albany yesterday and to discuss how the city and state can work together to increase public safety in New York City, among other topics,” he said.
Two years ago the state legislature eliminated cash bail for most misdemeanors and non-violent felonies – but allowed judges to still impose bail for most violent crimes. The legislation was intended to reduce the number of people held in jail pre-trial because they couldn’t afford bail.
Since his time on the campaign trail, Adams has called for state leaders to reevaluate and roll back some of these bail reforms. Specifically, he wants judges to have more discretion by establishing a “dangerousness standard” that would allow them to keep certain people locked up for crimes that are no longer bail eligible.
According to several published reports Adams walked out of his meetings with Stewart Cousins and Heastie, as well as the majority conference, without any promises he would get the concessions he was looking for.
Yet, during his daily press conference today, Adams went out of his way to emphasize that his negotiations with Democratic leaders were more successful than they were reported to be, without going into any detail.
“I went to Albany and sat down with Andrea and Carl,” said Adams, who served in the Senate for four terms from 2007-2013. “We laughed. We talked. We talked about old times. We talked about how we’re together on keeping our city safe. We walked out and said in front of everyone that we are aligned on keeping our city and state safe.”