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Home > Stories > Education > NY Democrats Block Tuition Aid for Gold Star Families, Give $27 Million to Illegals

NY Democrats Block Tuition Aid for Gold Star Families, Give $27 Million to Illegals


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On Tuesday, NY Assembly Democrats blocked a bill aimed at allocating additional tuition aid to Gold Star families. Just one week before, the same legislators approved a budget that includes $27 million in tuition assistance for illegal immigrants. The assembly’s Higher Education Committee voted 15-11 to block the bill, effectively killing it before it could advance to the house.

According to the New York Post, the bill “would have added funding to a program that provides free tuition, room and board at any SUNY or CUNY college to children, spouses and financial dependents of ‘fallen soldiers’ who died, became severely disabled or were classified as missing in action while serving in the military after 1990.

Additional aid not in the budget

Currently the state provides $2.7 million in tuition aid to 145 Gold Star dependents. Committee chair Deborah Glick (D), and Speaker Carl Heastie (D) said $27 million from would be used to support the Jose Peralta New York State Dream Act. The act allows illegal immigrants to qualify for state aid for higher education.

Glick said expansion of college tuition aid for Gold Star children was not in the budget.

More to do with politics than budget concerns

“Assemblywoman Glick should be ashamed of herself… We set aside $27 million dollars for college for people that are here illegally,” said State Sen. Robert Ortt (R). “Apparently, $2.7 million is all that the families of soldiers who are killed get. If you’re a child of a fallen soldier, you do not rank as high and you know that by the money.”

Assemblyman Will Barclay (R) said Democrats’ vote had less to do with budget than the bill’s author: a Republican, Steve Hawley (R).

“We get so caught up in majority and minority issues here, we can’t see the forest through the trees,” Barclay said. “I don’t know how they don’t justify this.”

“We will make every effort to ensure going forward, we have some additional resources allocated to the program so that as an entitlement, it is not falling short of the needs of our military families,” Glick said.

Sarah Morton

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