Following statewide and national support for his legislation that would expand MERIT scholarships to protect spouses and dependents of military members who lose their lives in the line of duty and provide them free college tuition and room and board, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is continuing his push for the legislation to become law this year and has launched a national petition to garner support.
Gold Star families have heard the herald of bipartisan support from state lawmakers in both parties, along with Gov. Cuomo and even President Trump, following the defeat of my bill in committee last week, Hawley said. I will continue leading the effort to see that our military receive the benefits they deserve as they carry the tremendous sacrifice of losing a loved one in the line of duty. I am confident we can get this legislation passed this year and hopeful that this is the beginning of an era where veterans issues transcend political divides and we all can play a part in honoring our brave service members and veterans.
State Majority defeated Hawleys proposal (A.2991) in the Assemblys Higher Education Committee due to the perceived cost it would impose outside of usual March budget negotiations. The Assembly Majority passed a $27 million package giving free college aid to the children of illegal immigrants in late January of this year.