Updated 06/19/2012 08:52 PM
Governor Cuomo done negotiating teacher evaluations bill
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Take it or leave it. That's the message from Governor Andrew Cuomo to lawmakers after introducing a measure that would allow parents and legal guardians to view their child's teacher's evaluation. Cuomo at a news conference says that while he's not in any rush to see the measure pass, he's done negotiating for now.
“That's the bill. The bill's not going to change. They act on it or they don't. But there's not going to be changes and discussions at this time,” Cuomo said.
The bill was introduced Monday night, only minutes before a deadline, so that lawmakers could vote on the measure by Thursday. Democrats in Assembly say they plan to pass the measure unchanged.
“I don't know if there's an agreement, but the governor has sent a bill and we plan on passing that bill before we go home,” said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
The bill would allow parents to access the teacher evaluation information. For all others, names would be redacted so that potential parents could judge the quality of a school.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a major campaign contributor to Senate Republicans, wants full disclosure. Majority Leader Dean Skelos, meanwhile, says the bill is being studied.
Skelos said, “We are going to look at the bill in a very objective way as a conference and make a decision as to what we think is right, not necessarily what people have written opinions on.”
Lawmakers could still return later in the year to take up the disclosure measure. But Skelos flatly denied there was any chance lawmakers would boost their own pay in a special session.
“There's been no discussion of a pay raise,” said Skelos.
Silver also said there's no talk of a pay raise, but gave an important caveat.
“There is no discussion about a pay raise at this point,” Silver said.
One issue that was declared dead on Tuesday was a bill that would lower penalties for possessing up to 25 grams of marijuana from a misdemeanor to a violation. Cuomo didn't rule out that bill becoming law in the future.
“This is a complicated issue. It's an issue that I feel very strongly about. It's also an issue that we're going to have to educate the public about,” Cuomo said.