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WBEN NewsRadio 930>Audio & Video on Demand>>College for Convicts?- Ken Lovett, NY Daily News

College for Convicts?- Ken Lovett, NY Daily News

Feb 20, 2014|

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We're talking this morning about governor Cuomo's plan to offer college courses to prisoners the response against it was quick and strong in some quarters. Senator mark resigned these online petition this morning has about 5000 signatures. -- leader dean scale us has come out against it the Erie county Republican Party yesterday with a statement also against it. Let's talk about it now with Ken -- he's the Albany bureau chief of the New York Daily News taken thanks for joining us good. Is this poised to become a wage issue in an election year or do you think the -- may be more spontaneous and all that. Well I think it's going to be an issue I think it's going to be an issue in the budget negotiations coming up next month. When they get for -- the Republicans are opposed to this they don't like the idea. By using taxpayer money and college programs for inmates when there's other things you can use that money for including tuition programs for people on the outside. Help us gauge statewide support for this. I think you'll find a lot of Democrats especially the black and Hispanic. Communities are in favor of this particularly the black communities which African Americans make up I think half of the inmate population Hispanics and of the 25% something that ranged. You know you've had a lot of support for -- among various groups including all the way up to. President Obama's education secretary Arnie Duncan. So I knew there was a lot of support for it but that's certainly the response from the Republicans has been quick in route. In I regionally senator mark resigned he was the first come out and speak really heavily against this. -- historically about some of the opposition he's seen a lot of people say he's not conservative enough I'm wondering if this is part of that. Oh I'm sure there's I mean that the same dynamic is happening assembly he came out of favour of the medical marijuana bill heavily. So look I think -- he's feeling heating knows who's gonna probably faced challenges and and this is something. That is red meat to the Republicans but it's not just -- we've seen it up and down the state from Republicans. Brooklyn senator Marty golden the former cops. You know he's said they what are you gonna have next bumper stickers that said I graduated from Attica. This was offered -- until governor attack he stopped -- in the ninety's. Yeah well first -- of the federal government under Bill Clinton. Congress -- at -- that pell grants. What are discontinued in 1994. And then when George Pataki a Republican took over as governor in 1990s I. He -- using. The state tuition assistance program cap money for college education and college courses for prisoners. This would that you have money for that purpose. That would set aside the -- find out exactly how much today. You know thousands of dollars. She's just fund these programs and then they would have outside that groups do them. The governor obviously is that the top executive he runs the prisons department more last -- just do this doesn't need to go through the legislature. For the bad because of the money. You know they have due out pundit because they're gonna send out -- request for proposals. From different groups and colleges to see who wants to run it and then have to pay those groups to do it. And all of the budget talks come up when. Budget -- couldn't get real -- monthly budget deadline. Is. It's got to be in place by April 1 the governor's insistence that he wanted to report straight on time budget. All right Ken thanks for joining us this morning good perspective there anytime -- up. That's Ken -- the Albany bureau chief of the New York Daily News.

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