New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s 10-point plan to bolster public safety and roll back the state’s 2019 cash bail reform laws is going over poorly with the left flank of the state Legislature.

Just how poorly? By the end of Monday – the first day lawmakers returned to the Capitol after Hochul’s plan was leaked to the press – one key Assembly member was threatening a hunger strike.

“I am prepared to go on a hunger strike to make sure that this does not happen,” said Latrice Walker, a Brooklyn Democrat who was one of the key architects of the bail changes in 2019. “When our rights are under attack, what are we going to do? Stand up and fight back.”

Hochul confirmed the authenticity of the plan at a news conference Monday but didn’t discuss many of the specifics, which she said she will negotiate in private with the Legislature. The Democratic governor sent it to legislative leaders late Wednesday as part of final negotiations over her $216 billion state budget proposal, which is due to be finalized by April 1. For the last few weeks, Democratic state leaders have held firm they do not plan on approving any changes to bail reform.

Among the measures included in the plan are legislative changes that would alter the cash bail reforms by giving judges more discretion to set bail for defendants that are a possible danger if allowed to go free, such as if they have a significant criminal history or own a firearm. She would also make it easier to arrest and set bail for people who commit multiple crimes in an 18-month period.

Hochul’s plan would also make tweaks to the state’s landmark discovery and Raise the Age reforms in recent years, giving prosecutors more leeway when it comes to turning over evidence to criminal defendants in a timely manner and allowing judges to try those under the age of 18 as adults for gun-possession crimes.

When a reporter asked why she wouldn’t make some sort of public presentation outlining her position, Hochul repeated her oft-uttered line: She does not negotiate in public.

"The public is aware that I share their concerns about public safety, and that's why I am working with my team and working with the legislators to craft a position and a policy and work toward getting it in the budget,” she said in Albany during a COVID briefing.

Hochul confirmed she is attempting to negotiate it into a final state budget agreement, which often includes policy proposals that have little to do with state spending.

Progressive lawmakers and activists made clear Monday they vehemently oppose those proposals. They expressed their dissatisfaction both at a public rally at the state Capitol and a lengthy, private meeting between Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin and members of the Legislature’s Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Caucus.

Leading the way was Walker, whose voice boomed through the Capitol’s Million Dollar Staircase as she denounced the governor’s plan and urged her colleagues to block it, leading a few dozen advocates in a rallying cry of “Fear, not facts” and “stand up, fight back.”

"We do not want to see it in this budget or any other budget,” Walker said. “We're done. We roll it back today, they're going to come back tomorrow. They're relentless.”

Walker and other Black and brown lawmakers were joined at the rally by members of VOCAL-NY, an advocacy group for low-income people from disadvantaged communities, and organizations such the New York Civil Liberties Union.

The 2019 bail laws, approved by then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Democrat-led Legislature, rescinded the ability for judges to impose cash bail restrictions while a defendant awaits trial on most misdemeanor and non-violent felonies. The idea was to avoid criminalizing poverty by forcing those who can’t afford bail to sit in jail while awaiting trial.

Since their passage, the bail reform laws have become a source of criticism from law enforcement and many Republicans, who say they have allowed potentially dangerous criminals to roam free. Hochul’s public safety plan put her in line with more moderate Democrats, including New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who have called for allowing judges to consider a defendant’s “dangerousness” when determining whether they should face bail.

At a press conference in the South Bronx on the expansion of the newly revamped anti-gun unit, Adams was asked about Hochul’s plan.

“I'm happy to see the Governor embrace some of the things that I raised in the blueprint,” he said, referring to his crime reduction plan he released in January. However, he added that the final determination would be left to Albany lawmakers. “I have to deal with things within my span of control.”

Hochul has been facing intense political pressure to act on scaling back the bail laws amid an increase in serious crime in New York City. She is seeking election to a full term this year, and her Republican opponents – and even a Democratic opponent, Rep. Tom Suozzi – have made clear they intend to make crime the main tenet of their campaigns.

But bail reform advocates say there is no clear link to the increase in crime and the bail laws, pointing to preliminary data analyzed by the Times Union of Albany that shows defendants in only about 2% of cases related to the 2019 laws went on to be rearrested on a violent felony while their original case was pending.

“If budgets are moral documents, what is New York going to say with its budget?” said Jared Trujillo, policy counsel for the New York Civil Liberties Union. “Is this governor going to use her first budget to roll back some of the most important civil rights victories in New York's history?”

Additional reporting by Elizabeth Kim.