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Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

2020 candidate Mike Bloomberg on Tuesday released a criminal justice reform agenda that focuses on reducing racial disparities in incarceration and helping reintegrate those who have been jailed.

Why it matters: The former New York City mayor's criminal justice record has been under scrutiny in the wake of the resurfacing of a 2015 audio clip of him defending the city's stop-and-frisk policy, which mostly impacted black and Latino people before it was ruled unconstitutional in 2013.

  • Bloomberg had defended the policy as recently as January 2019, but apologized for it last November once it became clear he planned to run for president.
  • The new criminal justice plan comes one day before Bloomberg is set to take part in his first Democratic debate, where he is sure to be challenged on the issue.

What Bloomberg's proposal would do:

  • Raise the standard for police using force and require training in de-escalation and implicit bias.
  • End cash bail at the federal level and create "new supervised release alternatives."
  • Set a goal to reduce incarceration by 50% by 2030.
  • Provide employers with a multi-year tax incentive for hiring people who were incarcerated and expand “ban the box" initiatives, which seek to eliminate questions about conviction history from job applications.
  • Expand social services for the children of incarcerated people.

What he's saying: “In New York City, our Administration reduced incarceration by nearly forty percent, and as president, I will work to cut incarceration in half by 2030 and cut youth detention in half by the end of my first term," Bloomberg said in a statement.

Go deeper: The cost of going after Bloomberg

Go deeper

SEC debunks conspiracy theories about meme stock mania

Photo: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The SEC issued its long-awaited report on the meme stock mania, which downplayed the narrative that a "short squeeze" was the primary driver behind GameStop's historic stock moves — and shot down conspiracy theories about the event.

Why it matters: The postmortem was highly anticipated, largely because of what it could hint about what the regulator thinks should be done in wake of the saga. But the report stopped short of specific policy recommendations.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Breaking Biden's diplomatic logjam

Expand chart
Data: Center for Presidential Transition via Congress.gov; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The logjam for reviewing and confirming President Biden's ambassadorial picks is finally starting to break.

Why it matters: Biden is far behind his predecessors in the rate at which his ambassadorial picks have been confirmed. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a series of high-profile hearings and votes this week to finally begin chipping away at the backlog.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats brace for staredown over paid family medical leave

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senior House Democrats are braced for battle with the Senate over whether paid family medical leave — a key priority for progressives — will be included in President Biden’s final budget reconciliation bill, lawmakers and aides tell Axios.

Why it matters: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has indicated he wants to cut the program to reduce the bill's price tag. “Paid family and medical leave must be in the final package,” Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, told Axios on Monday.