Democratic Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner and Republican Sen. Sue Serino are jointly backing efforts to alter the state's bail law that, in part, would provide more power to judges and add domestic violence charges among the offenses that would require bail.
But over the last several months, Republicans, law enforcement and local prosecutors have raised concerns with the measure and its implementation.
Democrats, especially those who represent moderate swing districts upstate and in the suburbs, have increasingly called for changes.
Long Island Democratic Sen. Monica Martinez later on Thursday is expected to hold a news conference to discuss her proposed changes as well.
One of the Woerner and Serino bills would allow judges to issue bench warrants when a criminal defendant fails to make a scheduled court appearance.
The second would qualify intimate partner abuse and other domestic violence charges as a bail-able offense.
"We can all agree that no one should be held in jail simply because of an inability to pay bail, however in the rush to reform, the new measures went too far, stripping law enforcement of critical tools they need to keep our communities safe and putting already vulnerable New Yorkers at even greater risk," Serino said. "Public safety—not partisan politics—needs to be our top priority right now and the bills being highlighted today take aim at some particularly egregious portions of the new law."
Criminal justice advocates have pushed back against proposed changes to the law, which is meant to keep poor defendants from languishing in jail while people who can afford bail are released.
A Siena College poll this week found support for the measure among voters, especially in the suburbs, had collapsed over the last year.
“The first 24 hours after a domestic violence incident are when the likelihood of re-victimization and an escalation of violence is at its highest," Woerner said. "I am committed to protecting the safety of the communities I represent which is why I voted against the criminal justice reforms last year."