NY Democrats Block Bill Expanding Tuition Aid for Gold Star Families, but illegal immigrants get $27 million
Democrats part of the New York Assembly have voted to block a bill that would have extended the tuition aid program for Gold Star families to include the children of service members who were killed or disabled while not in combat. It was the Assembly's Higher Education Committee who voted 15 to 11 on the bipartisan bill and squashed its chances of getting to a floor vote during this session.
This comes about a week after lawmakers had passed a budget of $175 billion for the state of New York. About $27 million of that goes towards free college tuition for illegal immigrants.
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As stated on Syracuse.com, there were some lawmakers who claimed it was "outrageous" to block a bill that would cost only in the hundred thousands and help the children of the "military members who died" for their country.
Instead, undocumented immigrants receive millions for their tuition, while the kids who come from families of Americans who gave their lives for the United States do not get their help expanded.
As quoted in Syracuse's article:
“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, including Assemblyman Al Stirpe, D-Cicero, split with their party and voted against holding the bill in committee.
Will Barclay, a Republican Assemblyman, supported the bill. He was interviewed after the crushing vote and spoke out against Democrats. He accused them of not wanting to pass the bill because a Republican anmed Steve Hawley presented it. Barclay said, “We get so caught up in majority and minority issues here, we can’t see the forest through the trees. I don’t know how they don’t justify this.”
He went on to explain that it was estimated to be only about 500 college students in New York who would have been eligible for the tuition aid if the bill passed. "The state would pay for children, spouses and financial dependents of New York military members killed in action to attend SUNY and CUNY schools."
The students, who likely lost their family member, would have free tuition, room, and housing through what's called a "MERIT" scholarship provided by the state of New York.
Unfortunately, Democrats didn't accept it in hopes to support the Gold Star families.
Meanwhile, the undocumented immigrants received millions in support for free tuition a week before this vote.
Democrats faced backlash for this decision and many wonder why they are supporting the illegal/undocumented immigrants before supporting the families of those serving the country.