New York – State Senator John Bonacic’s bill that would prevent the Division of State Police from prohibiting troopers from plea bargaining with motorists who are charged with vehicle and traffic violations, has passed the Senate.
The bill’s Assembly sponsor is Joseph Lentol.
Last year, the Division of State Police changed its plea bargaining practice, prohibiting troopers from doing it, leaving it up localities to conduct V&T court cases, but without any additional revenue to pay for the costs.
Last year, both houses of the Legislature approved the measure, but then-Governor George Pataki vetoed it.
Bonacic is more encouraged that it will make it all the way into the law books this time. “The dynamics are right,” he said. “As you know, when the new governor comes in, there’s new state police brass; it’s his people.” Bonacic said if the 4,000 state troopers say they want the power to plea bargain and are capable of doing it, the 30-year-old former system should be allowed to stand. [Mid Hudson News]