Governor Hochul’s Budget Includes Tough Measures Against Assaults on Retail Staff!

Governor Kathy Hochul’s administration in New York has taken a firm stance against assaults on retail workers by implementing new legislation that classifies such acts as felonies. This move comes as a response to increasing incidents of violence against individuals employed in the retail sector.

In her 2024-2025 Fiscal Year Executive Budget, Governor Hochul included provisions aimed at safeguarding retail workers, who often find themselves vulnerable to violent crimes. Addressing the issue, Governor Hochul stated, “I promised to fight the scourge of organized retail theft, and in this budget, we got it done. Sophisticated organized retail theft operations are putting frontline retail workers at risk and reselling stolen goods on online marketplaces, and we’re taking new steps to end this chaos.”

Under the new law, assaulting a retail employee will now result in felony charges, marking a significant deterrent against such behavior. Prosecutors are empowered to aggregate the value of stolen goods across different incidents and stores when pursuing felony charges against offenders.

Additionally, the legislation criminalizes activities that facilitate the sale of stolen goods, enabling prosecutors to target third-party sellers.

Governor Hochul’s five-point plan to combat retail crimes also includes allocating $40.2 million to enhance the capabilities of the State Police, District Attorneys’ offices, and local law enforcement agencies in apprehending retail theft criminals. Furthermore, $5 million in tax credits will be provided to assist small businesses in implementing security measures to mitigate retail theft risks.

New York State Police Superintendent Steven G. James affirmed the commitment of law enforcement agencies to tackle retail theft, stating, “We will continue to leverage our law enforcement partnerships to further ongoing efforts to prevent thieves from targeting the hard-working citizens of New York.

The State Police is fully engaged in this issue and will not tolerate individuals responsible for stealing millions of dollars in merchandise, victimizing both retailers and the public. I thank Governor Hochul for her continued support, and the New York State Police stands ready to commit the resources necessary to ensure the success of this initiative.”

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