The New York State Assembly defeated a bill that would have provided free college tuition to the children of deceased and disabled military veterans.
Democrats argue an already-existing program provides millions in aid to 145 students who are dependents of military personnel. (syracuse.com)
The Assembly’s Higher Education Committee voted 15 to 11 to hold the bipartisan bill, effectively ending its chances of making it to a floor vote this session.
The move comes a week after lawmakers passed a $175 billion state budget that included $27 million to provide college tuition aid for undocumented immigrants.
Some Central New York lawmakers said it was outrageous to block a bill that would likely cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to help children of military members who died for their county.
“It’s disgraceful,” said Assemblyman Gary Finch, R-Springport. “Soldiers who lay down their lives and make the ultimate sacrifice represent the best of us. The children they love so dearly deserve access to the opportunity and promise that is the hallmark of this country. I can’t imagine what’s in your heart when you vote ‘no’ on a bill like this.”
Four Democrats on the Higher Education Committee voted with Republicans.