(The Center Square) — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is pushing to expand the state’s hate crime laws and make more money available for security at houses of worship amid an uptick in anti-Semitic and anti-Islamic incidents.
Included in Hochul’s budget plan, unveiled this week, is a proposal to expand the list of offenses eligible for prosecution as hate crimes to nearly 100 by adding offenses such as graffiti, arson, gang assault, first-degree rape, criminal possession of a weapon and sex trafficking. Under current law, there are only 66 offenses that can be charged as hate crimes. The governor also calls for more funds for the Securing Communities Against Hate initiative, which provides security grants to churches, synagogues and mosques to harden their infrastructure against attacks. Hochul’s budget plan proposes boosting that funding to $35 million – a $10 million increase over the previous fiscal year.
“The rising tide