A proposed bill and amendment to the state’s Constitution introduced this week in the state Senate would abolish the Board of Regents and have its powers assumed by the commissioner of education.
The measure, backed by Republican Sen. Tom Libous of Binghamton, would give the governor the authority to nominate the education commissioner — similar to a regular cabinet post — upon the consent of the state Senate.
Essentially, the bill cuts out a very important middle man in setting education policy in the state: The Democratic-led Assembly.
The amendment has been introduced in the Senate before, as have other bills aimed at reducing the influence of the Assembly in appointing the Board of Regents. Not surprisingly, these measures have gained little traction over the years with the large Democratic conference in that chamber.
But the amendment’s introduction this month comes as Gov. Andrew Cuomo has indicated he wants greater influence over how the state carries out education policy.No way Assembly Speaker Silver is letting this happen, but you can bet it's what Governor Cuomo wants, which is why this bill is being introduced again in the State Senate a few days before Cuomo's "Opportunity Agenda" speech next week.
Cuomo on Thursday in Rochester pledged a “full agenda” of education measures when he gives his State of the State and budget address next Wednesday.
As an interesting side note, Libous has been indicted for lying to the FBI and Silver and Cuomo are allegedly under investigation by the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York for other misdeeds
Just yesterday it was revealed that Cuomo's campaign spent $100,000 on a criminal defense attorney related to the Moreland tampering case, cutting the check on December 29.
So we have an indicted GOP second-in-command pushing a change to the state Constitution that would reorder the way the education system has worked for a couple of hundred years in order to grant more power to a governor under investigation for witness tampering and other abuses of power and an Assembly leader under investigation for corruption looking to maintain his own power in the education system and keep those changes from happening.
Only in Andrew Cuomo's New York.