Crime will remain the "number one priority" for Gov. Kathy Hochul heading into the new year, as the newly elected governor is showing no indication she will change her approach to the thorny political issue that was a sore point in the bruising campaign season.
"I don't have to change my stance on crime one bit," Hochul told reporters on Tuesday after touring a food bank outside of Albany.
Hochul was elected to full term earlier this month after a campaign season in which Republican opponent Lee Zeldin and his allies unleashed blistering attacks over the issue of public safety, linking the concerns to the state's recently approved criminal justice law changes.
Supporters of making further reforms to the system, including sentencing law changes and sealing many criminal records, are making a renewed push as well, ahead of the upcoming legislative session in January.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams, meanwhile, has pressed for broader changes to New York's law that largely ended cash bail for criminal charges.
It's an indication the push and pull of public safety and how to equitable treat people in the criminal justice system will continue into 2023, and Hochul will be in the middle of it in Albany.
The governor last year won changes to the bail law that added charges for when bail would required, including those involving a firearm. Some Democratic lawmakers have suggested more changes are needed, such as adding domestic violence-related charges.
Hochul has not indicated whether she will want to address the contentious bail issue again into the new year.
She has also pointed to efforts to expand the ranks of the State Police, add more police presence to the subways in New York City and crackdown on the prevalence of illegal guns that flow in from outside the state.
"We've been focused on crime; public safety has been and will continue to be my number one priority," she said. "That focus is not new, but it's been consistent."