NY Dems Block College for Gold Star Families Bill, Grant $27M Fund for Illegals
New York Democrats block bill to expand college tuition aid to families of fallen military
New York Assembly Democrats have blocked a bill aimed at expanding college tuition aid for families and children of disabled or deceased military veterans, shortly after approving a measure to grant $27 million of taxpayer money to pay for the college tuition of illegal immigrants.
Just one week after approving the huge fund from the state budget to pay for illegals' education, the Assembly’s Higher Education Committee voted against expanding the aide for Gold Star families.
On Tuesday, NY Assembly Dems voted 15 to 11 to shelve the bill, effectively defeating its chances of going to the floor, the Post-Standard reported.
The surprising decision came after Speaker Carl Heastie and committee chair Deborah Glick, D-Manhattan, declared that $27 million from the state’s budget would go towards supporting the Jose Peralta New York State DREAM Act.
The DREAM Act bill allows illegal immigrants to qualify for state aid for higher education, Newsweek reported.
Glick said any expansion of college tuition aid to Gold Star families was not within the state's budget.
The New York Dem pointed to an already-existing program that provides $2.7 million to 145 students who are dependents of vets who served in combat zones, the New York Post reported.
“Assemblywoman Glick should be ashamed of herself,” said State Sen. Robert Ortt, R-Niagara.
“We set aside $27 million dollars for college for people that are here illegally…
"Apparently, $2.7 million is all that the families of soldiers who are killed, get.
"If you’re a child of a fallen soldier, you do not rank as high and you know that by the money.”
Mike Whyland, a spokesman for Assembly Democrats, said the Republican-led bill “would have expanded the eligibility beyond the scope and should be considered within the context of the budget.”
When asked about objections by GOP lawmakers, he said: “It’s purely political and it’s unfortunate that they are using children as pawns.”
Assemblyman Will Barclay, R-Pulaski, surmised that the Democrats’ refusal had less to do with budget restraints and more to do with the bill’s author: a Republican, Steve Hawley, R-Batavia.
“We get so caught up in majority and minority issues here, we can’t see the forest through the trees,” Barclay said.
“I don’t know how they don’t justify this.”