Gov. George Pataki released a new plan to modify the Rockefeller Drug Laws Tuesday that was instantly panned by Assembly Democrats and many reform advocates, significantly reducing its chances of approval by the state Legislature.
Pataki aides said the plan, which would cut prison sentences for many drug offenders but increase penalties for those who use children or the Internet to ply their wares, reflected a compromise reached last month in marathon closed-door negotiations with legislative leaders and hip-hop music mogul Russell Simmons.
Simmons endorsed the governor’s plan Tuesday, as did Democratic presidential hopeful the Rev. Al Sharpton. But other drug law reform advocates who had attended the unusual meeting with Simmons and state leaders on June 18 insisted Pataki’s proposal did not conform to the agreement reached that night, according to the Albany Times-Union.