A battle over whether to move Buffalo’s Board of Education elections from May to November continues wage on, despite the fact the state Legislature has already approved the bill.

The state Senate and Assembly both passed the legislation right before the end of session in June. A coalition of parents, business leaders and clergy celebrated the vote after pushing for the board election to coincide with the regular general election for years.

However, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-NY, has yet to sign the bill and current board members are asking him not to do so. The board unanimously passed a resolution last week, requesting the governor not sign the date change legislation and asking the state delegation to consult with a broader cross section of the community.

The Change the Date Coalition that led the push, had harsh words for those members during a Wednesday press conference.

“To vote for a resolution to tell the governor not to sign legislation that we’ve worked years to get passed, for whatever excuse those eight board members want to use, it’s not just irresponsible, it’s got to be the dumbest thing I’ve seen an elected official in Western New York do in a long time,” Pastor Kinzer Pointer, Agape Fellowship Baptist Church, said.

The coalition said it already has broad support that included Assembly Democratic Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Democratic State Senator sponsoring the bill. The Buffalo Common Council also unanimously passed its own resolution last year in support of changing the date.

“I don’t even know if its possible to get any more support for a piece of legislation like this. We’ve got the maximum amount of support that you can get,” parent and activist Sam Radford said.

However, the board actually argues the opposite in its resolution. It pointed out all Western New York Assembly members but one voted against the bill – including Buffalo Democrat Sean Ryan who preferred a compromise.

It also argued the basic premise that moving the election to November would increase voter turnout. The resolution said the 7 percent turnout for the BOE’s May 2019 election was better than many surrounding suburban districts and comparable to recent mayoral and common council primaries.

Among other arguments, the resolution also said a November date would bring partisan politics into a non-partisan election and give new members a more limited amount of time to understand the complexities of the school district and develop a budget. The coalition responded Wednesday, it believes the members, all of whom were endorsed by the Buffalo Teachers Federation, is carrying water for the union which wields more influence when there is lower turnout.

The governor has until the end of December to sign the bill but it’s proponents are asking him to take action as soon as possible.