Syracuse-area Republican Shiroff Considers Repeal of Bail Reform If Elected to New York Senate | Policy

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For Rebecca Shiroff, it’s the question in the race for the 50th seat in the state Senate district.

Shiroff, a Republican from Manlius, has made public safety her top priority as she challenges State Sen. John Mannion, a Democrat, in the newly drawn district that includes parts of Onondaga and Oswego counties .

In 2019, the Democratic-led state legislature approved bail reform and discovery reforms which have since been amended twice. The goal of the bail reforms was to ensure that people who commit minor offenses were not held in jail cells for long periods of time.

The law ended cash bail for most misdemeanors and non-violent criminal offenses. Critics, mostly Republican lawmakers and politicians, blamed the bail changes for the increase in crime. However, state data shows that most people who were released on bail were not re-arrested, and only 2% of those who were released were re-arrested for violent crimes.

Despite these statistics, Shiroff is motivated to act after the murder of Connie Tuori in an apartment complex in Syracuse. Tuori was killed by a woman who had been released without bond a week earlier for attacking another tenant in the same building. The decision to release the accused without bail was made by a judge.

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Shiroff believes the bail reform measure is “the most disastrous piece of legislation ever passed in this state.” She supports its complete repeal, while defending the rights of victims.

“If you can’t post bail, then how about not committing the crime?” she says. “It’s a concept, isn’t it? But nobody thinks about the families being left behind.”

As a candidate, Shiroff has other priorities. She wants more money for mental health services. As the mother of a suicide survivor, she has seen the limited resources available to individuals and families who need help – the long wait times for therapists and the backlogs to get into counseling programs. hospitalization.

In addition to increased funding, she supports the provision of incentives to people who become mental health care providers.

Addressing the region’s economic struggles is the last of Shiroff’s top three priorities. She’s been a small business owner — she was co-owner of Metro Mattress, which has offices in upstate New York — and says she understands the frustrations of running a business in New York.

Shiroff works as a program analyst at the Onondaga County Office of Economic Development. She said she’s heard from businesses talking about grants available so they can stay in the state.

“We have this massive exodus of these people who realize that you can’t survive as a business owner as a business owner in New York State unless you’re at a certain level where the money is no object,” she said. “But that’s not the majority of businesses. The majority of businesses are small business owners, a lot of family businesses. They can’t survive in this climate.”

The race between Mannion and Shiroff should be competitive. President Joe Biden, a Democrat, won the 50th District with nearly 54% of the vote in 2020. But the district is winnable for Republicans, especially this year when the GOP is expected to win Senate seats from the State.

Shiroff was running for state assembly before the new Senate maps were released. He was asked to run for the State Senate and decided that was the best route.

“I thought I would be more effective in the Senate because I really think we have a chance this year to break the supermajority or overthrow it,” she said. “Having checks and balances at all levels is extremely important.”

Political journalist Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or robert.harding@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.

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