Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to offer college for inmates appears to have died in the state Senate after Senate Co-leader Jeff Klein called the issue a nonstarter and Co-Leader Dean Skelos said it wasn’t even part of the discussions at Monday’s leaders meetings, The Post reports.
Cuomo first started discussions around the idea during his last campaign run for governor, and in February, began to push the bill, arguing it would curb recidivism and, in the long run, save taxpayers money.
“It costs about $5,000 a year to provide educational services to that person in prison,” Cuomo said. “The recidivism rate goes from about to half to 4 percent.”
But state Republicans protested it vehemently, claiming providing higher education to convicts is unfair when there are residents who haven’t been convicted of a crime that can’t even afford to send their own children to college.
The pushback comes just one week after the Senate rejected the DREAM Act bill, which would have set aside $25 million for college tuition assistance to the children of undocumented immigrants.
“Both are publicly toxic to the taxpayers of New York state,” said one Republican senator.