Today, Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh (R,C,I-Ballston) called out the Assembly Majority for blocking a bill (A.2991) that would provide free college tuition to family members of New York state military personnel who lost their lives in the line of duty. The bill would require the surviving dependent family members to attend a SUNY or CUNY institution where they would receive free tuition and room and board. Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, chairwoman of the Higher Education Committee, called the proposal an entitlement and costly. The estimated cost for the bill would be only a fraction of the $27 million allocated for tuition assistance to illegal residents, which the Assembly Majority passed earlier this year.
It is disgraceful that any member of the Assembly would deny a bill that would aid so many families grieving the loss of someone fallen in the line of duty. Our veterans have put their lives at risk for our country to ensure that America remains the Land of Opportunity. The least we can do is provide these opportunities for their family, said Walsh. This bill would eliminate the financial stress that higher education places on families for only a fraction of the cost of the DREAM Act. I urge the Higher Education Committee to reconsider that this bill be brought to the floor.