Hudson Valley lawmakers unveiled a proposal Monday to protect active-duty and reserve military personnel from sequester cuts to their financial aid for college.
Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, Putnam County, and Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor, R-Fishkill, Dutchess County, advocated for tuition reductions for public university students in New York who are in the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard. The military agencies have announced they plan to suspend tuition assistance programs because of the federal sequester.
“It’s very unlikely that the feds are going to fix this, because it’s sort of like a game of chicken from both sides on the sequester,” Lalor said at news conference Monday. “Nobody wants to make the first exception, because there will be more exceptions. So we’re stepping into the breach as a state to take care of the veterans.”
Ball, who did not attend the new conference, said in a statement that cutting tuition assistance for military is “absolutely disgraceful.”
“The men and women in our armed services deserve our full support and nothing less,” Ball said.
Lalor said he has approached Marist College in Poughkeepsie and other private colleges about adjusting tuition for those affected. The proposal would affect only students of the State University of New York and the City University of New York.