Today, Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello (R,C,I,Ref-Niagara Falls) supported a bill (A.2991) to provide free college tuition to family members of New York state military personnel who lost their lives performing their military duties. Eligibility for assistance would require the surviving dependent family members to attend a SUNY or CUNY institution. Recipients would receive free tuition and room and board through a MERIT scholarship. Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, chairwoman of the Higher Education Committee, has repeatedly called the bill an entitlement and said it would cost hundreds of thousands in tax dollars. The bill was shot down by the Assembly Majority in Albany earlier today.
It is truly shameful that members of the majority voted against a bill that could have helped so many grieving families in New York state, said Morinello. Our states military men and women are among the bravest in the nation and its our duty to give back to families who lost a loved one in the line of duty. Its impossible to diminish the loss or to replace a family member, but this bill would eliminate the financial weight of earning a higher education, and help them to have a better chance at success. As a Vietnam War Veteran, Im proud to support this bill and urge my colleagues in the majority to do the right thing and help pass it in the future.