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LISTEN ON DEMAND: THIS AMERICAN LIFE tribute to the 10 killed in the Tops Market shootings.

Hochul's 'ambitious' progressive agenda earns solid reviews

Gov. Kathy Hochul, wearing white, stands at a podium in the Assembly Chamber in Albany Wednesday.
Office of the Governor
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Gov. Kathy Hochul delivers her State of the State address from the Assembly Chamber in Albany Jan. 5, 2022.

To compliment her first State of the State address as New York Governor, Kathy Hochul also released a book that provided more information on some of her 220 proposals. The book is 237 pages.

Miles Gresham read it in entirety.

Policy Fellow for the Partnership for Public Good, Gresham took note of many of the proposals, though what was NOT mentioned also caught his attention: bail reform.

The hard-fought progressive policy victory, Gresham understands, is under political attack. He's pleased the new governor is showing no signs of backing away from it. Opponents say the measure has resulted in an increase in crime.

"I think it's important to remember that correlation is not causation," Gresham said.

"The data that is available from the Office of Court Administration doesn't seem to show any sort of real relationship between bail reform and an outbreak of violent crime."

Gresham understands the public concern over homicides and shootings but "those are all crimes that still allow someone to be held on cash bail even with bail reform having taken effect."

Hochul's message also called for investment in other "proven" methods of curbing crime.

"There is data to show things that do prevent serious crime like violence interruption and crime prevention and community-based solutions," Gresham said.

"I'm hopeful those initiatives will bear fruit."

Ken Kruly of the blog "Politics and Other Stuff" provides analysis of Gov/ Kathy Hochul's State of the State speech.

Overall, Gresham believes Hochul's plans can be good for the region. That includes her call to reverse the impact of urban state highways like Buffalo's Kensington Expressway.

"I think that doing something to address that would go a long way towards reducing this sort of geographic isolation and, therefore, the lack of access to job opportunities, to healthcare, to food access, all those things that geographic isolation causes."

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