New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday signed two bills into law that will expand hate crime education and training in the state, ABC News reported.
The first bill will require people convicted of hate crimes to undergo training on hate crime prevention and education as part of their sentence. The training is currently optional but not a requirement. The court or local agencies must authorize the programs, training sessions or counseling sessions.
The second bill launches a statewide campaign run by New York's Division of Human Rights that will promote acceptance, inclusion, tolerance and understanding of the diversity of New Yorkers. In addition, public and private organizations will work to develop educational materials to be published online, on social media and on other platforms to reach the public, according to the bill.
"It's heartbreaking to know that there are acts of violence and hatred that exist throughout our country and within our own city, in our own state," Hochul said at a press conference Tuesday, according to ABC News.
The new bills come days after two men were arrested in connection with an alleged threat to attack synagogues in New York City. In her remarks on Tuesday, Hochul thanked the early warning system and law enforcement officials for their apprehension, but warned that these kinds of attacks are on the rise.
"Domestic violence extremism is the greatest threat to homeland security," she stated, adding, "This hatred, this violence, will not be tolerated; not now, not ever.”
The two bills are a part of Hochul's efforts to fight and prevent hate crimes. They are supported by $245 million in federal funding to support homeland security preparedness, counter terrorism and emergency preparedness in the state, and $96 million in state and federal funding, to safeguard nonprofit, community-based organizations at risk of hate crimes and attacks.