Here is a partial listing of bills I have supported this session to aid New York’s former servicemen and servicewomen. These initiatives will now go to Governor Cuomo for final action.
-- Legislation I co-sponsored was passed by both houses (S.7839, first introduced as S.4714)) to extend the Military Service Credit Law of 2000 to all veterans who have served in the military. Right now, public employees who served in the armed forces may purchase up to three years of pension credit only if their military service occurred during specified conflicts. This measure will expand this opportunity to public employee veterans who also served their country in peacetime.
The New York State Senate today passed five bills, sponsored by Senator Kenneth LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson), to make college more affordable for students and their families, while setting students up for success. These bills provide opportunities to help New York students thrive by increasing awards in the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) to equal the cost per semester of SUNY and CUNY tuition, alleviating student loan debt, giving access to free community college to eligible students, and providing targeted work-training programs. Senator LaValle said, “These bills go a long way in reaching the goals of accessible, quality, affordable education. We need to continue to pursue these types of measures today to better enable the students to compete in the world tomorrow.”
$138 billion spending plan funds citywide Pre-K, increases to TAP and higher-ed opportunity programs.Senator Martin Malavé Dilan (D-Bushwick) announced the passage of a $138 billion budget that includes $300 million for universal Pre Kindergarten programs in New York City, new government reforms and increased funding to social programs.“This year’s budget has made great strides to meet new, and greater demands while continuing to offset the gaps left by previous year’s cuts. I commend Governor Cuomo and my Senate Colleagues for delivering a responsible spending plan that spends smart, invests in our students, and offers some much-needed relief for our working families,” said Senator Dilan.
ALBANY, NY—State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) today lauded the passage of the state’s fourth and historic consecutive on-time budget. This has not been accomplished with the same Governor and legislative leaders in more than 40 years.
The New York State Senate today passed the 2014-15 State Budget which includes major investments in New York’s higher education system. Aid includes support for the Tuition Assistance Program, public and private universities, and community colleges across the state. The budget increases base aid support for community colleges by $75 for each full-time equivalent student, which represents a total increase of $15.1 million for SUNY and CUNY community colleges.
On March 12, 2014, students from CUNY Law’s Economic Justice Project (EJP) joined forces with Hunter College’s Welfare Rights Initiative (WRI) and the Empire State Economic Security Campaign (ES2), a statewide coalition of more than 200 social service providers, faith-based groups, and concerned citizens, to educate New York State legislators on several important social initiatives including access to quality education, affordable healthcare and housing, a healthy environment, living wage, and stronger safety net programs.
(Brooklyn, NY) - “Today, I stood with 29 other New York Senate Democratic Senators to vote in favor of the NYS DREAM Act.
This piece of progressive legislation was brought to the floor earlier this evening and if passed, would have ensured immigrant children, in search of the American dream through educational access and financial aid, the road map to success.
Senate Republicans failed our young people. Not a single member of the Republican Conference voted yes. Not a single member of the Republicans voted yes for opportunity or yes for equality.
"And clearly there is the political will for campaign financing, but not for helping young immigrants get a college degree.
“Senate Republicans argued against using tax dollars for campaign financing, just as they had previously argued against spending tax revenue on the DREAM Act.
"But whereas the Senate’s house budget features campaign financing, it excludes the DREAM Act, kicking to the curb, yet again, the hopes and aspirations of young people whose zeal to live, work, pay taxes and prosper in this great country is being held against them.
"I am happy about the inclusion of campaign financing, which I wholeheartedly support. I am deeply disappointed and frustrated by the exclusion of the DREAM Act.
"I call on the governor and my Republican Senate colleagues to seize the opportunitywe have here in New York to build on the growing national consensus around theneed for immigration reform and the obvious economic benefits of doing right by our young people.”
Sen. Jose Peralta, a Democrat and prime sponsor of a bill to create a state DREAM Act, invoked conservative Texas Gov. Rick Perry in urging his Republican colleagues to support the measure.
"We have an opportunity here in New York to build on the growing national consensus, among business, labor and Republican and Democratic leaders, on both the need for immigration reform and the obvious economic benefits of reform.”
The Peralta DREAM Act bill would allow allow state financial assistance to go to the college kids of illegal immigrants.
Perry signed a different version of the DREAM Act that allows the kids of undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition at Texas state colleges.
(Albany, NY)- Senator Serrano met with Professional Staff Congress (PSC) representatives in Albany. The PSC represents over 25,000 members of faculty and staff from City University of New York (CUNY) and the CUNY Research Foundation. CUNY consists of 24 institutions of higher learning and is the third largest university system in the United States. PSC and Senator Serrano discussed the importance of CUNY to New York City, potential reforms to the NY TAP program and The DREAM Act.
Please sign my petition against the American Studies Association's targeted, discriminatory boycott of Israel by clicking here.
In December, the American Studies Association, a prominent organization that includes some of the most respected colleges and universities across the United States, took the unprecedented step of boycotting all Israeli academic institutions and scholars from its events and conferences.
Despite calls by numerous college presidents--including those at Harvard and Yale universities--for the ASA to end the boycott against Israel, the ASA's discriminatory policy remains firmly in place. That's unacceptable.
The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC), the state's student financial aid agency, puts college within reach of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers each year by administering 18 student financial aid programs, including the flagship Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). The HESC also offers college access and career planning guidance, and administers a highly successful College Savings Program.
For more information on tuition assistance and other available to New York State students, please visit HESC.ny.gov.
In the wake of the American Studies Association's (ASA) targeted and singular boycott of Israeli universities, State Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) and Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) announced plans to introduce legislation that would cut-off state aid to public and private universities who participate in organizations that boycott countries like Israel.
Flushing, NY—Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing) met with Crystal Ng, Emily Chen and Myung Jin (Jenna) Kim, three students from Francis Lewis High School, to discuss government, politics and civic engagement as part of an assignment for their social studies class.
Senator Parker to speak this evening at the Center for International Human Rights at John Jay College for Criminal Justice on the critical issue of Mental Health Justice: Stigmatization and the Challenge of Inclusion.
New York students and families looking to find more information on the college process are encouraged to attend the state’s Sixth Annual Latino College Fair and Workshop to be held Saturday, November 23 at the Bronx Rose Hill Campus of Fordham University.
BRONX, NY– Standing under the dome of the Gould Memorial Library at Bronx Community College (BCC), State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) announced that BCC will be a host site for START-UP New York, a groundbreaking initiative that allows select colleges and universities to create tax-free zones on or near their academic campuses.
(Brooklyn, NY) – On the eve of the national Veterans Day holiday observance on Monday, November 11, 2013, Senator Kevin Parker (D-21), announced he would be introducing the NY CARES Act (New York College Aid for Returning Empire State Service members). The bill requires New York’s public and private universities to accept military service for some college credit.
State Senator Gustavo Rivera invites high school students to attend a Higher Education Open House at Bronx Community College from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
During the Open House, students will have the opportunity to speak with financial aid experts, higher education professionals and faculty from a variety of academic departments at BCC to help inform them about the admission process and expose them to different program options that are available to them.