Janet Sabel, Attorney-In-Chief of The Legal Aid Society, released the following statement today responding to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2019 State of the State and Budget Address:
“For New York to fully realize its progressive promise, meaningful criminal justice, housing, and immigration reform must be central to Albany’s 2019 legislative agenda. Albany has waited too long to legalize marijuana and to expunge related decades-old criminal records; to overhaul broken bail, discovery, and speedy trial statutes; to address the housing crisis by strengthening and expanding tenant protections; and to advance measures that make our state more of a sanctuary for immigrants.
However, the devil is in the details, and to truly change a disparate system that has historically marginalized New Yorkers of color, low-income tenants, and the other vulnerable clients whom we serve, reform must be more aggressive than what has been debated in years past.
We look forward to meticulously reviewing this important legislation, and working with the Governor and the Legislature to ensure that truly robust changes make the final budget come April.”