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Griffo would change voting rules for electing regents

North Country state Senator Joe Griffo says it's time to find a new way to elect the Board of Regents that guides New York's public education policy.

"Currently, that's an elective vote of the 213 members of the legislature, we believe that should actually be a vote by each individual house and you should receive a majority in each house." Griffo points out that because there are far more Assembly members than state Senators, the current system for electing regents gives the lion's share of authority to Democrats.

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Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

Under his proposal, Griffo explains, the Republican-controlled state-Senate would gain more influence. "So if you had the opportunity at least, to do it individually in each house by a majority, then you have that opportunity for a balance of power," he said.

Speaking on the public radio program Capitol Pressroom, Griffo blasted the current Board of Regents for its handling of the rollout of common core education standards.

Griffo said the state legislature should eventually consider allowing direct elections of Regents by New York voters. "Potentially, we could have elections for Regent where the Regents would present themselves, and in those districts that exist, or in some modification of that, the people would go to the polls and elect the people that they want to effectuate educational policy in the state."

Griffo acknowledged that Democrats in the state Assembly are unlikely to agree to changes that would diminish their influence over Regents elections.

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