Assemblyman Kolb calls the vote an insult to the families of veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice
ALBANY — A state Assembly bill to provide free college tuition to Gold Star families was blocked by the Higher Education Committee from moving forward, a vote that the Assembly minority leader says is an insult to the families of veterans who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Stephen Hawley, the bill would provide free tuition, room and board for dependent family members of military personnel killed while performing official military duties. Eligible participants could attend either the State University of New York or City University of New York free of charge.
“The Assembly Majority’s vote today insults the families of veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice. New York Democrats are happy to support free tuition for illegal immigrants and incarcerated criminals. But they refused to extend the same privilege to the courageous military families of our fallen, disabled or missing-in-action heroes,” stated Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua). “A veteran is someone who at some point wrote a blank check to America for an amount up to and including their own life. Today was an opportunity for Assembly Democrats to recognize that. Unfortunately, they failed miserably.”
During Tuesday’s meeting, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick (D-Manhattan), the chair of the Higher Education Committee, responded to those critical of the committee's vote.
Glick said the vote was made because the committee lacked information at the time and that scholarship funding was already appropriated for the year.
Last week the legislature approved a $175 billion state budget that included a provision to fund the DREAM Act — a bill to allow the children of illegal immigrants to apply for the state’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).
“Deborah Glick and Assembly Democrats showed their true colors today. They’re happy to spend $27 million in taxpayer money to fund tuition for illegal immigrants. But the children of veterans who have been killed or disabled protecting America are apparently worth much less in their eyes,” Kolb stated.