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Sampson: Don’t count out the Senate Dems on mayoral control

ALBANY, N.Y. — Cornered outside of the press offices this morning, State Senator-turned-Democratic-Conference-Leader John Sampson said he was still planning to push his own school governance bill.

Asked whether he would support Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s plan, Sampson said that while the Democrats still had to discuss Silver’s bill, he wants “to put forth” the bill that he supported: the “Better Schools Act.” The bill would end the mayor’s ability to appoint the majority of the 13 members of the Panel for Educational Policy.

“I would like to … look at their bill and look at our bill and see if there can be some compromise,” he said.

Asked whether the Democrats were going to allow the bill to expire without a vote, Sampson replied, “You shouldn’t ask us that question, you should ask Senator Skelos that question. You know, we’ve got to come to some sort of agreement, so until then, as I would say, to be continued.”

Asked what would happen if the Assembly passed the bill and then left Albany, Sampson said: “If we are out of town,we can’t make any changes, therefore you have no school governance.”

Senator Bill Perkins, another supporter of the “Better Schools Act” said last night he was optimistic that the Senate would be able to insert fixed terms into the bill. Of Silver’s bill, he said: “From what I heard, it’s not something that I would want to vote for.”