You should know that this year, Governor Andrew Cuomo has linked the DREAM Act and the Education Investment Tax Credit in the same budget bill. If that budget bill passes, everybody wins – and if it doesn’t, then no one wins. It’s a classic “all or nothing” situation.

As you already know, the DREAM Act has been designed to help the children of undocumented parents, and undocumented students who already have earned their high school diploma or GED to receive financial assistance for college.  The Education Investment Tax Credit is designed to provide a tax credit for businesses and individuals who donate money to private and parochial schools’ scholarship funds.  Both of these bills offer more educational opportunities for New York’s students.

We all know that the DREAM Act won’t pass on its own in the Senate because the Republicans don’t want it, and the Education Investment Tax Credit won’t pass on its own in the Assembly because the Democrats won’t support it.

On February 26, 2015, the State Assembly separated the DREAM Act and voted for it.  Even though I’m glad that the Assembly passed the DREAM Act, I am afraid that by voting for it separately – and not as the Governor wanted it to be voted on WITH the Education Investment Tax Credit – neither will have a chance to become a reality this year.

My dear reader, I hope and pray that both of these tuition assistance bills will be able to pass this year, but I do share Governor Andrew Cuomo’s position that the best way for the DREAM Act and the Education Investment Tax Credit to pass is to link them together for one vote.  It’s all or nothing, and I choose all.

Speaker Carl Heastie and the Assembly know that the Assembly voted four (4) years in a row to pass the DREAM Act – to no avail – because the Senate didn’t want to vote for it.  My question is: Why did they do the same thing this time when they know the Senate won’t pass it alone? Why didn’t they do what the Governor wanted them to do and link both bills together so it could pass?  Do they really want the DREAM Act to pass? I am afraid that the Assembly has just taken the pressure away from Governor Cuomo and relieved him of his commitment to pass the DREAM Act.

 This is Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.

Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz represents the 32nd Senate District in the Bronx.

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