DEMS CAN’T SWALLOW PROPOSAL TO MAKE COLLEGE MORE AFFORDABLE FOR MIDDLE CLASS
Kill eligibility expansion and college aid increase for New Yorkers, continue to champion funding for illegals, incarcerated felons
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 10, 2016
Assembly Democrats continued to push the boundaries of partisan politics today when they killed the signature provision of the Assembly Republican higher education agenda, a bill to expand eligibility for the state’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) for middle class families. The Democrats are continuing to push for higher education funding for illegal immigrants and incarcerated felons.
It would also increase the maximum TAP award for students who display financial need.
To prevent the bill from reaching the floor for a public up-or-down vote, Democrats who control the chamber killed the bill in a procedural committee vote.
“I don’t know how you can claim to be a legislator who is here to represent working families if you’re going to display such an unfeeling disregard for one of the issues that is causing the most anxiety for parents and stress for their kids. Paying for college is hard. It’s complicated. It is not easy to weigh aspirations and dreams against some pretty stark financial realities. We want to make that a little easier. It is our position that the state should be helping more people with aid, and it should be offering more aid to the people who need it most,” said Finch.
The legislation would increase the parental yearly income cap for children seeking TAP awards from $80,000 to $100,000. It would also bump the top award to $6,470, enough to cover a year of SUNY tuition.
“We need to expand the pool of eligible students because there are too many hardworking, middle-class families trying to juggle an array of life expenses that just aren’t getting the help right now,” said Finch. “We also wanted to make sure that students coming from low-income families have access to the opportunities unleashed by a higher education in New York State.”
Finch said the most frustrating part of this bill being blocked by Assembly Democrats is their willingness to prioritize other controversial education spending measures.
“Assembly Democrats want to pay for illegal immigrants to get free educations. They want to pay for convicted murders to get free educations while they’re in prison. What about all of the families who are struggling now? Who play by the rules? Who sacrifice for their kids to have access to an American Dream that may have eluded them? It just doesn’t seem fair,” said Finch.