Friend and Minority Colleagues Create Petition Urging Passage of Scholarships for Gold Star Families

April 17, 2019

Assemblyman Christopher Friend (R,C,I-Big Flats) and his Minority colleagues launched a petition to gain support from the public to urge the passage of legislation creating SUNY and CUNY scholarships for Gold Star families in New York. The Assemblyman, who co-sponsors A.2991, recently spoke out when the Majority in the Assembly Committee on Higher Education held his legislation, which means it will not be allowed to come to the Assembly Floor for a vote. The Assembly Majority faced significant backlash when news of this story went national.

“Passing state college scholarships for Gold Star families is a fairly simple gesture we can make on behalf of the state to show our support and appreciation for all the sacrifices made by the children and families of our fallen military men and women,” said Friend. “We have the support of rank-and-file members and even the governor, because we know this is the right thing to do. I ask all those who support our troops to sign our petition so we can tell the Majority leadership to move our legislation forward.”

The legislation was shot down by Assembly Majority in the Higher Education Committee for supposedly costing too much; however, the program would cost only an estimated few hundred thousand dollars. This is in stark comparison to the costly $27 million in DREAM Act funding that Majority politicians readily passed in the recent budget to provide free college tuition for illegal immigrants.

It’s clear that the action of the Assembly Majority was purely political. Soon after overwhelming national media and public criticism, the Majority created their own legislation for Gold Star scholarships despite their objection to it only a week before.

“At the end of the day, I just want to see our state treat our Gold Star families well for giving so much while their loved one was serving us in the military,” Friend concluded.

Those interested in supporting scholarships for Gold Star families are encouraged to sign the online petition.