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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

State Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, announced his opposition this morning to a plan announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to offer college degrees to state prisoners.

In a press release, Maziarz said it is "a huge slap in the face" to ask taxpayers to foot the bill for college courses for prisoners when they're "struggling to make ends meet."

"I am incensed at this proposal, as are the constituents and taxpayers who have already contacted my office in large numbers," Maziarz said. "The whole notion of rewarding bad behavior is completely backwards. It should be ‘do the crime, do the time,’ not ‘do the crime, earn a degree.’ It is simply beyond belief to give criminals a competitive edge in the job market over law-abiding New Yorkers who forgo college because of the high cost."

Maziarz pointed out that the governor didn't offer a cost of the proposal. "So if the Governor thinks the state can afford this, I have a million and one other ideas for how we can use taxpayer dollars more effectively—starting with economic development, job creation, and tax relief."

Maziarz said he will work towards the proposal's defeat.

The plan, which was announced by the governor on Sunday, would offer college-education program for prisoners at 10 facilities — one in each region of the state —  in an effort designed to reduce recidivism rates.

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