Modified: April 17, 2019 12:42pm
Erie County Legislator Ed Rath introduced a resolution in support of free SUNY tuition for Gold Star families, who are spouses and dependents of service members killed while performing official military duty. A New York State Assembly bill (A2991) to include the funding in the budget was recently introduced, but lawmakers voted to hold it in the assembly’s New York State Higher Education Committee. Since then, Governor Cuomo has signaled his support for the bill even though it was not part of this year’s budget. On Monday, the New York State Senate introduced a similar piece of legislation.
Legislator Rath said, “Families of those killed in the line of duty shouldn’t be burdened with the cost of attending college. The bill should have been immediately prioritized in Albany to demonstrate our commitment to those who have served our country.. I am hoping Governor Cuomo sticks to his word and finds a way to fund this important piece of legislation.”
Legislator Lorigo said, “New York State provides financial support to many other individuals, and Gold Star families are just as deserving of our assistance. This funding would help military families who have dealt with the unfortunate hardship of losing a parent or spouse. I’m encouraged to hear there is bipartisan support for the bill and would like to see our state leaders work quickly to move this forward.”
Legislator Dixon said, “Expanding financial assistance to family members of those who lost their lives during military duty is something that should be prioritized by our leaders in Albany. I am glad Governor Cuomo has indicated his support and hope he and other lawmakers can make this funding a reality.”
Legislator Mills said, “Families of those who died while serving in the military deserve our unwavering support. This state funding would alleviate the stress and costs associated with attending college. I hope Governor Cuomo can find a way to pass this bill during this year’s legislative session.”
The resolution was co-sponsored by Legislators Dixon, Lorigo, and Mills. A copy of it can be found here.