Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos would rather spend money earmarked for the public financing of state political campaigns go to education, reiterating his opposition to a measure introduced by Speaker Sheldon Silver in the Assembly on Tuesday.

Skelos in a gaggle with reporters said a public financing system for state offices modeled after New York City’s program could cost up to $200 million (advocates peg the cost much lower, at $30 million) and that corruption is still bred with campaign contributions.

It’s made all the worse when the corruption is with public dollars, he said.

“I think campaign finance, $200 million, I’d rather take that money, put it into education and certainly many taxpayers throughout the state do not want to see that money going to individuals they do not support,” Skelos said. “I’m sure that there are people in Buffalo or Long Island if campaign finance was in place would not want to see their money go to Pedro Espada or other corrupt elected officials.”

Silver’s bill would use money from bank fraud settlements to pay for the system. Taxpayers would also be given the option of contributing up to $5 to the system by checking a box on their income tax form.

The bill would provide $6 of public matching funds for every $1 raised up to $250.

Silver told me an interview that aired on the show last night that he expected an uphill climb on campaign finance this year, a perennial topic in Albany that has on-again, off-again traction.