Democratic Assembly members dusted off the Dream Act on Tuesday in the hope of providing immigrant students easier access to in-state tuition for college. The Assembly last year passed the Dream Fund, which would help immigrant children pay for college, but it stalled in the Senate. This year, Assemblyman Francisco Moya has combined the bills.
“They could have done it last year and they chose not to,” he said. “Rep. Eric Cantor came out two days ago in support of the federal Dream Act. Is it smart for state Republicans to be behind the national party?”
But some Republicans doubt both bills will pass. Senate Majority Coalition Leader Dean Skelos has said he is open to the Dream Fund but not if taxpayers pay for it. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said that was unacceptable.
“We’ll just wait two weeks for the next majority leader to come to power – he’s expressed a different view,” Silver said at a press conference.
Independent Democratic Conference leader Jeff Klein on Tuesday called the Dream Act a “top priority.”
“I’m still committed to both the Dream Act and Dream Fund, and I don’t think anyone has the right to stand in the way of education,” he said.