Bonacic: Senate Approves Higher Education Bill

John J. Bonacic

March 22, 2007

State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/I/C - Mount Hope) announced that the Senate has approved legislation Senator Bonacic cosponsored (Senate bill 2510) that would allow persons age 60 and older to take credit courses at SUNY for free.

"Not only is higher education the key to success for our youngsters, it is also the key to retaining good health and an active mind for our senior citizens," stated Senator Bonacic. "This measure shatters the financial barriers that keep many seniors from continuing their education."

Senator Bonacic said that in 1974, New York State enacted a law to allow individuals age 60 and over to take courses at the University without earning credit and at no cost. Although this was a step in the right direction, seniors should be able to take courses and earn the credit, provided that there is space available at the colleges of SUNY. The legislation has been approved by the Senate year after year since 1980. Unfortunately, the Assembly has failed to move the measure out of the Assembly Higher Education Committee.

"Diversity in our State Universities is actively promoted. Encouraging senior citizens to be integrated among the younger student population will enrich the learning experience for both and assist in the University’s diversity efforts," concluded Senator Bonacic.

Senate bill 2510 was approved with overwhelming bipartisan support. It will now be sent to the Assembly for consideration.