Momentum Builds, Assembly Passes Raise the Age, Campaign Holding Call for Justice Day on 2/16

Big Week for Raise the Age New York!

Speaker Carl E. Heastie and colleagues in the New York State Assembly held a press conference on Feb. 14, focusing on justice reform.

 

The movement to raise the age is getting a boost this week. On Monday, Senate Democrats held a press conference that featured Raise the Age.

 On Tuesday, the New York State Assembly overwhelmingly passed a bill that includes a provision to Raise the Age from 16 to 18, statewide. If enacted, it would mean that New York State would no longer be one of only two states to automatically prosecute all 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. Under the current system, there is no requirement to notify parents if a 16-year-old is arrested. That too would change.  Here’s why raising the age is smart policy for public safety and for young people.

These actions come on the heels of the Governor including Raise the Age legislation in his Executive Budget and leaders of the State Senate declaring their support as well.

This Thursday, the campaign will hold a Call for Justice Action Day, asking supporters to contact elected officials using our one-click alert: bit.ly/rta2017.

What’s Next?

Governor Cuomo included Raise the Age in his budget. Key leaders in the Senate have declared their support.  The Assembly has passed a bill.  Now they need to come to a final agreement.

The effort also has significant support among law enforcement, judges, faith leaders of diverse denominations and several Republican members of the legislature. We believe that now is a good time to finally get a comprehensive bill passed.

Next up for lawmakers: budget negotiations where they can enact Raise the Age legislation.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D), said on Tuesday, “Deep-red states that have a Republican governor and Republican [legislature] have found a way to do this … For me, as a speaker of color, it truly is hurtful to me that New York and North Carolina are the only ones that still treat 16- and 17-year-olds as adults.”

What Can I do?  

  • On Thursday, February 16, please take two minutes to CALL FOR JUSTICE using our one-step alert. You’ll get the numbers and script to contact the legislators who represent you.
  • Encourage your friends to make calls on February 16 so we can end the practice of charging all 16-year-olds as adults. Share this link: bit.ly/rta2017.act-orange