Congressman Chris Collins, NY-27, officially introduced the Kids Before Cons Act Tuesday with congressmen Tom Reed, NY-23, and Chris Gibson, NY-19, as co-sponsors.
This legislation will prohibit the use of federal taxpayer dollars to provide a college education to convicted criminals.
"The governor's latest plan to fund college educations for convicted criminals using taxpayer dollars is an insult to law-abiding citizens all across our state," Collins said. "That is why, in response, I am introducing legislation that will ensure no federal taxpayer dollars are used to fund higher education for criminals.
"With 60 percent of college graduates in New York state carrying student debt, we must put our college kids before cons."
"It is simply not fair to ask hardworking taxpayers to pay for college for convicted criminals when they struggle to put their own children through college," Reed said. "College students in New York leave school with an average of nearly $26,000 in student loans - a huge undertaking for any family. New Yorkers are faced with enough taxes and mandates - they do not need to worry about funding college for convicted criminals when they are trying to care for their own families."
"Families across my district are struggling to pay for a college education for their kids, with students carrying high levels of debt when they graduate. We can do better than spend federal taxpayer dollars on the education of convicted criminals when our hardworking New Yorkers need the assistance themselves," Gibson said.
As the House moves forward with the appropriations process later this year, Collins will also introduce a limiting rider to ensure no appropriated funds in a particular bill are used to fund college courses for convicted criminals.
The Kids Before Cons Act does not ban states from using federal dollars to support GED or work training programs in prisons and correctional facilities.