The new bail law, the subject of criticism from law enforcement, Republicans and increasingly some Democrats, should be given a chance beyond the first month or so of it being in effect, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie on Monday said.
"Right now it seems when the sun doesn't come up, everyone wants to blame the bail law," Heastie said.
The law ended cash bail requirements for misdemeanors and non-violent felony charges as part of a broader criminal justice package that is meant to keep poor people from languishing in jail while they await trial.
Over the last several months, law enforcement officials and Republicans assailed the new law for releasing repeat offenders charged with crimes that while considered non-violent nevertheless raised concerns with how the measure was being applied.
Heastie on Monday in Albany said in part some people are working to sensationalize the issue in the media and with lawmakers, especially Democrats who represent suburban and upstate districts.
At the same time, the portrayal of some people being released with bail due to the law has been found to be misleading.
"I want judges, DAs, the police departments, sheriffs to work with the Legislature to try to make the law work," Heastie said. "I think a month and three days in people have already painted positions of what they'd like to see changed."
Still, the law remains a dominant topic of conversation at the Capitol in the early weeks of the 2020 legislative session. Some Democrats have vowed to introduce bills meant to alter it.
But Heastie says critics need to be working in good faith.
"I think everyone has to have an honest buy-in for this to get done," he said.