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Governor Cuomo has recently announced his intention to give free college classes to individuals incarcerated in state prisons. I do not support this plan.

While I am in favor of rehabilitation and reduced recidivism of inmates, I cannot in good conscience support the Governor’s plan when so many individuals and families in New York are struggling to meet the ever-rising costs of higher education.

Cuomo's plan, announced during the recent Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus at the Capitol, would provide college-level education at 10 state prisons, at a cost to taxpayers of about $5,000 per inmate per year. There are an estimated 54,500 inmates currently confined in state prisons.

Instead, I am fighting to restore the availability of graduate-level Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) funds for middle class taxpayers that was previously eliminated, and I will continue to fight for its reinstatement before I even begin to entertain the idea of supporting this program.

Thank you for joining me in opposition to the plan to give taxpayer-funded college to state prisoners.

We would like also note that there is a secondary petition that has been started outside of WNY. There are over 9,000 signatures as of March 23,2014 that petition can be found at

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