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Assembly education committee passes mayoral control bill

We just heard from a source with connections in Albany: The Assembly’s education committee has passed Speaker Sheldon Silver’s mayoral control bill. Five of the committee’s 29 members voted against the bill, which some critics have said includes too few checks on the mayor’s authority, our source reports.

The committee’s approval means that the bill can now be voted on by the Assembly as a whole. After Silver formally proposed the bill on Sunday night, lawmakers told the New York Times that they thought the Assembly would pass the bill by Wednesday. So far, they appear to be on pace to meet that deadline.

More on this story as it develops.

UPDATE: According to committee chair Catherine Nolan’s office, the five committee members voting against the bill were James Brennan, Alan Maisel, and Joan Millman of Brooklyn; Daniel O’Donnell of Manhattan; and Mark Weprin of Queens. The bill passed the education committee last night and is headed to the Ways and Means Committee today, with debate on the Assembly floor likely tomorrow, Nolan’s office confirmed.

UPDATE 2: A reader points out that this means only half, or five of 10, of the Assembly education committee members from New York City voted for the bill. They are committee chairwoman Catherine Nolan of Queens, Carmen Arroyo and Michael Benedetto of the Bronx, and Karim Camara and Barbara Clark of Brooklyn. (Clark is one of Mayor Bloomberg’s strongest mayoral control allies in the Assembly).

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post suggested that the mayoral control bill would become law upon its passage by the full Assembly. In fact, a bill becomes law only after the State Senate passes a similar bill and the discrepancies between the two bills are negotiated away in a conference committee consisting of members of both legislative bodies. The governor then has to sign the reconciled bill to make it law. The State Senate has not tackled legislative business in the nine days since its dramatic leadership coup.

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