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O’Mara Is A No Vote, On Erasing Criminal Records

June 2, 2022

State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats) today voted no on legislation approved by the Senate that would erase criminal records from public view and provide no protections for victims or law-abiding New Yorkers.

The Senate earlier today, by a vote of 38 to 25, with every member of the Senate Republican conference voting in opposition, advanced legislation that O’Mara and his GOP colleagues said continues an alarming trend by the Senate Democrat majority to keep enacting pro-criminal policies despite rising rates of criminal violence statewide.

The so-called “Clean Slate” legislation (S1553C) would seal felony records seven years after a sentence is complete and after three years for misdemeanors.

O’Mara said, “Another day in Albany, another pro-criminal policy pushed by one-party rule. New York is facing a crisis of rising crime and lawlessness the likes of which we have not seen in years. The crisis, caused in large part by Democrat-led cashless bail and other soft-on-crime policies, could be stopped today if they stopped pushing a radical, pro-criminal agenda. These new actions once again prove that Democrats care more about protecting violent felons and dangerous individuals than they do victims and law-abiding New Yorkers.”

A recent Siena Research Institute poll showed that New Yorkers view crime as the most important issue confronting the state.

In 2019, Senate Democrats completely reversed years of public safety progress by turning the state criminal justice system on its head. Over the past three years, the passage of dangerous cashless bail laws, discovery law changes, parole “reforms,” and other pro-criminal policies has become commonplace in Albany.

Senate Republicans have responded by sounding the alarm and continuously calling for the enactment of measures to restore public safety in New York. The Senate GOP public protection plan, part of a “Take Back New York” agenda released earlier this year, includes:

● Investing in law enforcement and fighting against Democrat efforts to “Defund the Police”;

● Ending cashless bail, restoring judicial discretion and rejecting dangerous Democrat proposals to erase criminal records;

● Fixing unworkable discovery and “speedy trial” laws that have turned the state’s criminal justice system into a revolving door for repeat and violent offenders;

● Reforming a broken parole system and refocusing the parole process around the protection and rights of crime victims and their families;

● Ensuring that cop-killers, serial killers, child killers, and other dangerous murderers can never be released;

● Heightening penalties for violent and repeat offenders, as well as hate crimes;

● Investing in proven mental health, addiction, homeless, and victims’ programs and services; and

● Strengthening and making Kendra’s Law permanent, to ensure that those struggling with mental illness get the help they need.