Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Monday what she described as significant progress in the fight against crime in New York’s Capital Region and across upstate. She also took the opportunity to discuss some items in her executive budget that she hopes the state Legislature will join her in supporting.

“When we see a spike in a certain type of crime, I’m able to bring in my best assets — the New York State Police,” she said.

She said because of the work of law enforcement involved with State Police, car thefts are down 55% in Rochester, 45% in Buffalo and 25% in Albany.

The governor also announced that similar efforts to strengthen red flag laws that keep guns away from individuals who may be a danger to themselves or others resulted in 1,385 "red flags" in 2023 and the seizure of 2,549 guns, while highlighting a partnership between the State Police and the Department of Environmental Conservation to seize illegal guns.

“Our next challenge is retail theft, something that many would think should be left to the locals, except just like gun seizures and car thefts, sometimes our locals need extra help and expertise,” she said.

As part of her executive budget, the governor proposed using similar tactics to create a joint operation to crack down on organized retail theft rings while increasing penalties for those who assault retail workers.

She emphasized that she needs the support of lawmakers to move it forward.

“I need my colleagues in the state Legislature to support this when we start our budget negotiations in the next couple of weeks,” she said.

Spectrum News 1 asked state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie if the increased penalties specifically are something the Assembly could get behind.

“We’ll deal with some of the fiscal sides of the things the governor proposed in terms of helping out the retail industry, but as a standard practice we do not put policy in our one-house budgets,” he said.

Republican state Assemblymember Mike Reilly meanwhile told Spectrum News 1 he introduced a bill last session that would have increased penalties for retail theft but it never made it to the floor.

He said he anticipates similar challenges for the governor as negotiations heat up.

“We need the governor to actually stand up to the Legislature and say this is not working,” he said. “The residents of New York state are not going to stand for this anymore.”