Governor Andrew Cuomo, in a radio interview Friday, said he wants to see changes to the state's bail law in the budget, due at the end of March.
Cuomo also plans to hold a public meeting with district attorneys, police and criminal justice advocates to discuss changes to the law, which end cash bail requirements for those facing misdemeanor and non-violent felony offenses.
"We have to make the changes and we have to get it done in the budget," Cuomo said in the interview on Long Island News Radio.
It is the furthest and clearest Cuomo has gone in calling for changes to the law, which was passed in the budget in 2019, which has become a flashpoint over the debate surrounding public safety and overhauling how poor and minority defendants interact with the criminal justice system.
Republicans and law enforcement officials have assailed the law, highlighting cases in which people have been released after arrest and later are apprehended for similar crimes.
Voters over the last year have flipped on supporting the law, and a Siena College poll this week found a majority believe it is bad for the state.
Supporters of the law contend those instances are being sensationalized and falsely attributed to the law, which took effect at the start of the year.
Democrats in the state Senate have proposed a change that would end cash bail entirely, but allow judges the authority to determine if a person should remain in jail.
Cuomo in the radio interview said he wanted strict guidelines for that determination and prevent judges from remanding someone because "they don't like the way they look or sound."
The budget is due to pass by March 31, the final day of the state's fiscal year.