On Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed legislation that would have provided public funding for special education students to attend private schools, a move he and Mayor Michael Bloomberg said was fiscally prudent yet also one that was condemned by politicians representing observant Jewish constituencies.
The bill’s chief sponsor in the State Assembly, Helene Weinstein, vowed to “continue the fight” in a statement, aiming to try and get enough votes in her chamber to override Mr. Cuomo’s veto. However, being the chief proponent of the bill is apparently not enough to avoid being attacked for not doing enough on the issue, and Ms. Weinstein’s Republican opponent Joseph Hayon sharply criticized her in a statement last night.
Joining Mr. Hayon was his fellow “School Choice Party” candidate, Moshe Tischler, who’s trying to unseat Assemblyman Dov Hikind in the Democratic primary this September. Indeed, Mr. Tischler is actually in court today trying to kick Mr. Hikind off the Republican and Conservative Party lines in the general election for failing to collect enough signatures.
“They represented us for decades, but they never bothered to repeal the Blaine Amendment,” Mr. Hayon said, referring to a section of the New York State Constitution that restricts public funding for religious institutions.
They also had sharp words for Mr. Cuomo.
“Vetoing this legislation, Cuomo is saying that Jewish, Christian and other religious families are not taxpayers.” Mr. Hayon added. “The next time Cuomo wants to cut the budget, he might prohibit food stamp recipients from buying Kosher food.”