Cuomo backs free tuition for kids of fallen service members

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he supports making attending a state college or university free for the children of service members who died while performing their official duties.

The Democrat’s comments Wednesday come after Republicans blamed state lawmakers from Cuomo’s party for blocking the proposal.

The proposal would also cover room and board without the need for additional scholarships.

Republicans objected this week after a Democrat-led legislative committee blocked the Assembly bill from proceeding to a vote.

Cuomo says the Legislature still has time to pass the measure before adjourning in June.

New York students from families making $110,000 a year or less can already apply for free tuition under the Excelsior Scholarship.

Lawmakers voted this year to extend the Excelsior scholarship to New York students brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

New York State Assemblyman Clifford Crouch (R) offered the following statement in response to the announcement:

“This is a huge victory for our servicemen and their families,” said Crouch. “With the governor’s support, the only thing that stands in the way of this becoming law is passage in the Assembly and Senate. Like I stated earlier this week, this bill has bipartisan support, there is no reason it needed to be held in committee other than politics. I commend the governor for his remarks on this legislation and want to thank him for coming out in support of the bill. I encourage my colleagues in the Assembly Majority to bring this bill to the floor for a vote.”

*The Associated Press contributed to this report

Associated Press

Associated Press

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