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Rep. Reed Pushes íKids Before Consí Initiative

Written By: Lauren Adams
Rep. Reed Pushes

     WASHINGTON D.C. (WENY) --  Governor Cuomo says offering inmates the chance to get a college degree while incarcerated will lower the rate of prison re-entry. But Congressman Tom Reed says it's an improper use of taxpayer funds and we should put kids before cons.

     That's why Tom Reed partnered with another federal lawmaker from New York to make sure Governor Cuomo knows how they feel about his idea. Cuomo says statistics show inmates who got an associates or bachelors degree while behind bars, had a reduced risk of reoffending than those who did not. Cuomo says that translates to less crime, fewer inmates and taxpayer savings.

     But Reed says this is not where money needs to be spent. He says investments need to be made in kids and making sure they have the opportunity to get a college degree. And he says, that message and that priority shouldn't stop in New York.

     "It's a conversation that we need to have a across the country as to 'what are our priorities?' Our hardworking taxpayer dollars are very scarce right now, we have $18 trillion in national debt, so let's allocate them to the places that make best sense and if we care about our kids," says Reed.  "I think we should put them first before we put convicted felons."

     Reed isn't alone in this fight. Many New York State lawmakers have also slammed the Governor's idea. Cuomo hasn't released many details about how he intends to fund the program, but you can expect this to be a hot discussion topic before voters cast their ballots in November.