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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. Senate 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 Lovett he's the Albany bureau chief of the New York Daily News taken thanks for joining us. Is this poised to become a wage issue in an election year or do you think the opposition's 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 real 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 know the 25% something that ranged. You know we've had a lot of support for it 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 clicking around. In I regionally senator mark resigned he was the first come out and speak really heavily against this. Cup 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. All I'm sure there's an inept offense that make it happen the same leaky came out of favour of the medical marijuana bill I believe. So look I think guarantee he's feeling heating knows who's gonna probably face challenges and and this is something. That is red meat to the Republicans but it's not just came we've seen it up and down the state from Republicans. Brooklyn senator Marty golden a former cops. You know he says it's great what are you gonna have next bumper stickers that that I graduated from Attica. And this was offered canned until governor attack he stopped at in the ninety's. Yeah well first ruled the federal government under Bill Clinton. Congress stopped it first step pell grants us. What are discontinued in 1994. And then when George Pataki a Republican took over as governor in 1990s I he had been using. The state tuition assistance program cap money. For college education and college courses for prisoners. This would not use tap money for that purpose. That would set aside tomorrow find out exactly how much today. You know thousands of dollars. She's just fund these programs and then they would have outside groups do them. The governor obviously is that the top executive he runs the prisons department more last Canty just do this doesn't need to go through the legislature. While the bad because of the money. You know they have due out pundit because they're gonna send out to request for proposals. From different groups and colleges to see who wants to run it and and and have to pay those groups to do it. And all of the budget talks come up when. Budget cuts couldn't get real Lex monthly budget deadline. Is. It's got to be in place by April 1 the governor's insistence that he want to report straight on time budget. All right Ken thanks for joining us this morning good perspective there anytime you're up. That's Ken Lovett the Albany bureau chief of the New York Daily News.

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