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Tuesday, March 18, 2014
The NY Dream Act, which would have expanded the state's Tuition Assistance Program to include undocumented students, failed to gain the necessary 32 votes needed to pass the state Senate.

The bill passed the Assembly in February and was expected to pass in the Senate, as it had been brought to a vote. Almost all bills that are allowed to come to a vote in the the state's legislative bodies do so with passage assured. In fact, only one bill failed in a Senate floor vote in 2011 and 2012. In the Assembly, a bill hasn't been voted down on the floor since 2004.

State Sen. George Maziarz voted against the bill, as did all of his Republican colleagues in the Senate.

Maziarz released a statement Monday after voting against the bill.
Today I voted a loud and resounding “NO” when the DREAM Act was taken up on the Senate floor. The liberal advocates will try to spin this legislation any way they can, but there’s no denying that the DREAM Act would take financial aid away from law-abiding families and it gives it to those who are in our country illegally. This bill is not about expanding hope and opportunity, it is about expanding handouts and opportunism. That is something my constituents simply cannot stomach. 
Just a few weeks ago, the Governor floated the idea of giving away free college educations to prison inmates. In my district, that went down like a lead balloon. Most of my constituents view the DREAM Act with equal incredulity and scorn. For their sake, I am glad this measure failed to pass the Senate this evening. 
Getting a college education is important to succeeding in today’s workforce, and the cost of getting a degree continues to rise. But that doesn’t mean our state can be all things to all people. We have countless hardworking families who are playing by the rules and struggling to afford college. We have immigrant families who have followed our laws and gone to great lengths to become legal citizens.  
Precious taxpayers dollars that are earmarked for financial aid should be directed to these families first and foremost.

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