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Bail reform rollback takes effect 

Criminal justice advocates say now is the wrong time for a rollback of bail reform laws, WXXIs Karen DeWitt reports. New rules regarding who can be held on bail in New York state took effect Thursday. The new law rolls back some bail reform measures passed in 2019, and criminal justice advocates say it’s the wrong time to do it, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement. Last year, the newly elected Democratic-led state Senate and Assembly eliminated all forms...

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U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand made a stop in Rochester Friday, joining local Congressman Joe Morelle in front of the Federal Building on State Street to talk about the need for direct aid to local governments to help deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two Democratic lawmakers are pushing for the Republican-controlled Senate to follow up on a bill passed by the House which calls for an additional $3 trillion  in aid.

Gillibrand said the pandemic has sharply reduced sales tax and other revenues to local governments.

New rules regarding who can be held on bail in New York state took effect Thursday.

The new law rolls back some bail reform measures passed in 2019, and criminal justice advocates say it’s the wrong time to do it, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement.

The state’s ongoing fiscal crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to temporary funding reductions for some cities and postponed planned pay raises for state workers. It’s also led to reductions to some smaller programs, including a key organization that has helped New Yorkers with intellectual disabilities navigate the pandemic. The program is slated for significant cuts this month.   

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is adding eight more states to a travel advisory list for states with high levels of the coronavirus. Visitors from California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee will now be required to self-quarantine for two weeks.

The new restrictions bring the total number of states included in the travel advisory to 16. New Yorkers who travel to those states will have to self-quarantine when they return.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo railed on President Donald Trump during a news conference Monday in New York, saying the president should “start telling the people of this country the truth” and sign an executive order requiring masks to be worn in public nationwide.

Republicans, meanwhile, called on Democrats in the state Legislature to strip Cuomo of emergency law-making powers, saying the time has come to limit that authority.

Only five people died from COVID-19 in New York Saturday, marking the first time since the peak of the disease in April that the daily number of deaths statewide dropped to single digits, following several weeks of decline.

Hospitalizations from the disease also dropped Saturday, bringing the total number of people requiring treatment for the disease down to 869. Of those, 145 are intubated.

New York has hit another milestone in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic: hospitalizations from the disease have now dipped below 1,000 for the first time in about three months, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.

And to keep that number low, Cuomo said New York state will be conducting random inspections of people who arrive from states with high infection rates of the disease.

  

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget office is temporarily withholding 20% of a state aid payment owed to several cities in New York, citing the COVID-19 pandemic-related revenue shortfall and budget deficit plaguing state government.

Cuomo and his budget director have been saying for months that if Congress does not provide another relief package for state and local governments hit hard by the effects of the pandemic, then the state will have to cut funding to schools, hospitals and cities by one-fifth.

The Nathaniel Rochester statue on South Avenue was defaced about a week ago, and a group in the South Wedge neighborhood is grappling with what to do next. 

The statue was tagged with Black Lives Matter, its hands were painted red and the word "shame" was written on its forehead. Rochester, who the city is named after, owned slaves.

City spokesperson Patrick Flanigan said the statue will be cleaned as soon as possible, “in a manner that will not damage it.” The city has a program called the Defacer Eraser that removes graffiti around the community.

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are imposing mandatory quarantines for travelers from several states with high rates of the coronavirus, including Florida and Texas, effective midnight Wednesday.  

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was joined Wednesday via remote feeds by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont. 

“We’re announcing today a joint travel advisory. People coming in from states that have a high infection rate must quarantine for 14 days,” Cuomo said.

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