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Elmira, N.Y., July 22—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats) today joined the call by New York’s Republican legislative leaders for Governor Kathy Hochul to immediately convene a special session of the State Legislature to address a deteriorating and failing system of criminal justice and public safety throughout the state.

O’Mara said, “When will Albany Democrats finally come to their senses? When will Governor Hochul and the Legislature’s Democrat majorities face the fact that this state is becoming less and less safe, and more and more violent? When will they finally hear the demands of so many New Yorkers who don’t feel safe anymore? It is long past time for Albany Democrats to address their failed soft-on-crime, anti-law-and-order approach to criminal justice and recognize a rapidly deteriorating climate of public safety and security that has become the hallmark of their government.”

Republican calls for a special legislative session come in the wake of last night’s ambush of two Rochester Police officers that took the life of one officer, a 29-year department veteran, Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz.

Earlier yesterday, Congressman Lee Zeldin, the Republican candidate for governor, was attacked on stage during a speech, in which the attacker held a sharp weapon. The attacker was taken into custody, charged with a felony, but immediately released with no bail.

Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt said, “One-Party-Rule was quick to call a special session to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens. If they actually care about the safety of all New Yorkers, they should be calling a special session to address the violent criminals breaking our laws. Last night, in just one evening, we tragically lost a Rochester police officer in the line of duty and there was a violent attack on Congressman Lee Zeldin. If it wasn’t clear before to the radicals in Albany, it should be as clear as day now: the deadly pro-criminal policies of the Governor and Democratic Majorities have made New Yorkers less safe.”

Assembly Republican Leader Will Barclay said, “In the last 24 hours, two Rochester police officers were shot—one fatally—and a gubernatorial candidate was attacked in public. When you consider major crimes in New York City are up nearly 40% this year, there is no doubt – New Yorkers are not safe. I am calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul to convene a special session to take up measures that will hold menacing criminals responsible and repeal bail reform once and for all. There is no other way to stop this unprecedented and unsustainable surge in violence sweeping across our state.”

As a result of the pro-criminal, anti-victim policies like bail reform, New York State has been plagued by surging crime. Major crime has skyrocketed 37% in New York City, Rochester last year experienced the most homicides in 30 years; and New York communities everywhere in between are less safe.

The Senate and Assembly Republican conferences have been a leading voice for calling for a repeal of the disastrous bail reform laws since they were first passed in 2019. At the beginning of this year’s legislative session, the conferences unveiled the “Restore Public Safety Agenda,” which called for:

Protecting Those Who Protect Us:

  • Invest in law enforcement;

  • Provide them with the support they need to make our communities safe and serve those in need; and

  • Fight Democrat efforts to “Defund the Police.”

Rejecting Dangerous “Reforms” like Cashless Bail:

  • End cashless bail, restore judicial discretion and reject proposals like “Clean Slate”;

  • Require state agencies to be transparent about the effects of public safety policies; and

  • Enact policies that get dangerous individuals off our streets.

Reforming the Broken Parole System:

  • Recenter the Parole process around the protection and rights of crime victims and their families;

  • Ensure that cop-killers, serial killers, child killers, and other dangerous murderers can NEVER be released; and

  • Reject dangerous Democrat proposals like “Elder Parole” and “Fair and Timely Parole.”

Passing a Victims’ Justice Agenda:

  • Strengthen penalties for violent and repeat offenders, as well as hate crimes;

  • Create and support more victims’ services and resources; and

  • Invest in proven mental health, addiction, and homeless programs.

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