GOP Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello is supporting a bill (A.2991) to provide free college tuition to family members of New York state military personnel who lost their lives performing their military duties. Eligibility for assistance would require the surviving dependent family members to attend a SUNY or CUNY institution. Recipients would receive free tuition and room and board through a “MERIT” scholarship.
Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, chairwoman of the Higher Education Committee, has repeatedly called the bill an “entitlement,” and said it would cost hundreds of thousands in tax dollars.
Morinello said Assembly Democrats in Albany shot down the bill.
“It is truly shameful that members of the majority voted against a bill that could have helped so many grieving families in New York state,” he said. “Our state’s military men and women are among the bravest in the nation, and it’s our duty to give back to families who lost a loved one in the line of duty. It’s impossible to diminish the loss or to replace a family member, but this bill would eliminate the financial weight of earning a higher education, and help them to have a better chance at success.
“As a Vietnam War veteran, I’m proud to support this bill and urge my colleagues in the majority to do the right thing and help pass it in the future.”