Assembly Majority Politicians Reject Bill To Give Tuition To Families Of Deceased & Disabled Veterans

April 9, 2019

Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua) issued the following statement after Majority politicians on the Assembly Committee on Higher Education voted against a proposal to provide free college to surviving family members of any military personnel killed or disabled in the line of duty.

The bill (A.2991, Hawley) would offer tuition, room and board at SUNY or CUNY schools to surviving dependent family members of New York State veterans who died, became disabled or are missing in action performing official military duties.

“The Assembly Majority’s vote today insults the families of veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice. New York Majority politicians 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,” Leader Kolb said. “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 Majority politicians to recognize that. Unfortunately, they failed miserably.”

During Tuesday’s Higher Education meeting, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick (D-Manhattan), the chair of the committee, dismissed the legislation to assist veterans’ families as an “entitlement” that would cost the state “several hundreds of thousands of dollars.” This comes approximately one week after passage of 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 the Assembly Majority politicians 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.”