The floated compromise by Senate Democrats that would change the state's new bail law landed with a thud with Democrats in the state Assembly on Wednesday.
Some blasted suburban lawmakers who had been pushing for changes to the six-week-old law that ended cash bail requirements for misdemeanor and non-violent charges.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie indicated he had not been given a heads up the story, published in Newsday, was coming.
And advocates were furious that an alteration of the law is being discussed.
"You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig," said Stanley Fritz of Citizen Action at a rally attended by lawmakers and activists at the Capitol.
The proposal would abolish cash bail entirely, but allow judges to determine whether a person should remain in jail while facing charges. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signaled he could be supportive of the idea.
But in the Assembly, where any changes would also have to be approved, the proposal was at best with a cold reaction. It has exposed an increasingly broad rift between the two chambers of the Legislature, both controlled by Democrats, over what to do about the law that has sparked controversy across the state.
"This law's only been in effect for six weeks and I think in order to ascertain if any law is working, you need real data, real information, not cherry picked stories and senstaionalized events as to try to paint a picture of whether a law is working or not," Heastie told reporters.
Asked if he had been given advanced notice by Senate Democratic Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins the proposal was being made public, Heastie added: "I know she's been concerned, I know she's been meeting with us. I'm not surprise by it."
Indeed, Stewart-Cousins had met with law enforcement officials and local prosecutors who have aired their concerns with the law as it currently stands.
The push for changes among Democrats has largely been driven by suburban and upstate members, who represent districts where the law is not as popular, and where Republicans and local law enforcement have raised concerns since the summer.
Democrats gained control of the state Senate 2018 by winning key seats on Long Island and in the Hudson Valley. It's no mistake the bail law proposal was made public in Newsday, a Long Island newspaper.
Assemblyman Walter Mosley blasted Democrats, using language reiminscent of critics of the now-disbanded Independent Democratic Conference.
"We can't be bound by five or six members who call themselves Democrats, and yet don't act like Democrats," he said. "We can't be bound by five or six members who want to have the protections and resources of fellow Democrats and yet want to take away resources from the communities we represent."
Those lawmakers, he said, "want to take us back in time."
"For those who don't act like Democrats, take their resources away from them," he said. "Let them run on their own votes and their own positions."
But some lawmakers were more circumspect, echoing Heastie's call for more information.
"There's not been any details released to the Assembly majority," said Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter in an interview. "But I think we need to be dealing with facts and not fear."