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New York senators oppose expanding inmate college

By The Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Several state senators are attacking Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to fund more college classes in New York prisons. One launched an online petition against it.

The program would offer associate's and bachelor's degree education at 10 prisons, which Cuomo says will reduce the likelihood of inmates returning to crime. He proposes spending about $5,000 a year for an inmate's education.

Sen. Mark Grisanti, a Buffalo Republican, says the petition mounted on his website Tuesday follows many negative calls, emails and Facebook messages about the proposal unveiled Saturday by Cuomo at the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus.

Sen. Dean Skelos, head of the Senate Republican Conference, says he doesn't believe taxpayers should provide prisoners with free college tuition while middle-class families struggle to pay for their children's education.

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