Once again, New York has proved itself to be one of the most hopeless states in America. Democrats in The Empire State’s Assembly blocked a college tuition bill that would have expanded aid for children of God Star families. The decision came a mere week after the Assembly’s Higher Education Committee green-lit $27 million allocated from the state’s tax budget to help illegal aliens obtain higher education.
On April 9, the committee voted 15 to 11 to table the measure to assist the children of Gold Star families. Committee Chair Deborah Glick, a Democrat, remarked that expanding funding to these individuals wasn’t in the state of New York’s budget. If the measure had succeeded, it “would have added funding to a program that provides free tuition, room and board at any SUNY or CUNY college to children, spouses and financial dependents of ‘fallen soldiers’ who died, became severely disabled or were classified as missing in action while serving in the military after 1990” according to the New York Post.
“We will make every effort to ensure going forward, we have some additional resources allocated to the program so that as an entitlement, it is not falling short of the needs of our military families,” Glick said.
But, the New York Post reported that the existing program, which benefits 145 students, only costs the state $2.7 million.
A week before the committee’s decision, both Glick and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie shared that $27 million from the state’s budget would be allocated to the Jose Peralta New York State DREAM Act. Assembly member Carmen De La Rosa, another Democrat, said the legislation would assist New York Dreamers in achieving the “American Dream.”
“With this budget, DREAMers in New York will finally be able to step out of the shadows and use higher education to live their American Dream,” De La Rosa said in a press release. “By including the Jose Peralta New York State DREAM Act in the budget, we are sending a clear message to our immigrant population that we value their contributions to our state, and we are committed to helping them succeed.”
Unsurprisingly, some of the state’s lawmakers weren’t pleased with the decision to fund the education of Dreamers while slighting children of Gold Star families. New York state Senator Robert Ortt, a Republican, stated that Glick should be “ashamed” of her call to block the bill that would have helped Gold Star families.
“Assemblywoman Glick should be ashamed of herself,” Ortt said. “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.”
The bill to aid the children of Gold Star families was sponsored by New York state Assemblyman Stephen Hawley, another Republican. After the measure was struck down, Hawley said, “Veterans’ issues have nothing to do with political parties or majorities and minorities. It has to do with our great state and our great nation. So, I’m hopeful with this increasing bipartisan support for this bill, that maybe we can have something reconsidered this year as opposed to having to wait for next year’s budget.”
“With a $176 billion budget, regardless of what the cost is to make our family members of veterans, who have given the ultimate sacrifice defending our country and way of life, [have free tuition], I don’t think it’s a dollar and cents matter at all,” Hawley added. “I think it’s a matter of philosophy. I think it’s a matter of doing the right thing.”
Hawley, a veteran himself, informed Newsweek that he’ll ask for the bill to be allowed to be reconsidered and be sent to the forum for a vote. Regarding his failed measure, Hawley said, “It’s a matter of priorities … What does that say to our veterans and the families of veterans who paid the ultimate price? It’s not the right message and I certainly hope after this has become a little more visible that they’ll reconsider their position on this.”
~ Patriotic Freedom Fighter