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State Urged to Fully Fund County Costs Related to Raising Age of Criminal Responsibility to 18

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State Urged to Fully Fund County Costs Related to Raising Age of Criminal Responsibility to 18

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Legislature, by unanimous vote (Legislator Nate Shinagawa was excused), called upon the State Legislature to support the plan of the State Commission on Youth, Public Safety, and Justice that the age of criminal responsibility in New York State be raised from age 16 to age 18, to be phased in over a two-year period.  But it urged that the Legislature enact legislation that “fully, permanently, and unambiguously obligates the State to pay for 100% of all new costs incurred by county Probation Departments and other county departments and agencies” as a result of that change, and also that language be included to set aside designated funds from which counties can draw upon, eliminating the need for counties to exceed the 2% tax cap.

Legislator Martha Robertson said, there’s a lot of consensus that the policy is right—the idea is that this is an unfunded mandate, and what the State will consider the related costs. While not advocating that those younger than 18 should be in the adult system, Legislator Mike Sigler said he didn’t want to have the fact lost that some of the crimes committed here are “horrific” and real people are harmed.