New York Lawmakers May Extend Free College Tuition To Gold Star Families

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BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) — There’s a push in Albany to expand the state’s free college tuition program to the families of service members who die while on duty.

New York State Senate.

The measure also extends to the family of military men and women permanently disabled or missing in action.

It has support from both sides of the aisle, but there’s a rift between the Democrats who control the legislature.

Last week, an assembly committee delayed the vote on a similar measure.  Then, while speaking Monday on Long Island, Senate Democrat John Brooks renewed the push for an expansion of free tuition benefits.

The measure is also supported by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The proposal would have no cap on family earnings. This is separate from New York’s Excelsior Scholarship program, which began in 2017 and allows residents whose parents earn less than $125,000 a year to attend SUNY or CUNY schools tuition free.*

* This story has been updated to clarify the difference between Senator Brook’s proposal and New York’s Excelsior Scholarship program