Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday went his furthest yet in calling for an amendment to the state's current bail law, saying "additional improvements" are "essential."
"I think it's essential we have changes -- additional improvements -- to bail reform," Cuomo said, later adding, "I will not be willing to let the necessary changes go unaddressed."
Cuomo's comments came when asked if the measure should be included in a final budget agreement by March 31, near a target date the governor has set.
The bail law ended cash bail requirements for misdemeanor and non-violent felony offenses. Republican and law enforcement officials have slamed the law, which took effect at the start of the year, for failing to include a provision that allows judges to keep a person in jail pending trial.
Cuomo in an unrelated news conference said the criminal justice system was in need of change prior to last year, calling the previous system of bail "obnoxious and an injustice" and favored rich people over poor defendants.
"We made a major change in criminal justice in taking out cash bail," he said. "You can't discourage making changes to a complex system because it's already hard making changes to a complex system."
Senate Democrats have proposed eliminating cash bail entirely, but allowing judges to remand people. The proposal has not been backed by Assembly Democrats.
The state budget is due to pass by March 31.