Hawley urges public to sign petition for scholarships for Gold Star families

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 April 2019 at 8:20 am

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, has launched a petition for the state to cover the costs of college for children and dependents of soldiers who were severely disabled or killed in the line of duty.

Hawley is the lead sponsor of legislation in the Assembly for college assistance for Gold Star families. The bill didn’t get out of the Assembly’s Higher Education Committee, with Hawley faulting Democrats for blocking the legislation.

The issue has garnered lots of media attention in the state and nationally, with President Donald Trump also tweeting about it and Gov. Andrew Cuomo saying he would support the legislation.

The legislation now has bipartisan support in the State Senate.

The legislation (A.2991, Hawley) would pay the costs of tuition, room & board, and fees at a public New York State or City College to the dependent family members of New York service men and women who died, are missing in action, or became disabled while performing official military duties.

“Gold Star families have heard the herald of bipartisan support from state lawmakers in both parties, along with Gov. Cuomo and even President Trump, following the defeat of my bill in committee last week,” Hawley said. “I will continue leading the effort to see that our military receive the benefits they deserve as they carry the tremendous sacrifice of losing a loved one in the line of duty. I am confident we can get this legislation passed this year and hopeful that this is the beginning of an era where veterans’ issues transcend political divides and we all can play a part in honoring our brave service members and veterans.”

The petition declares, “Support The Children of America’s Military Heroes.” To see the petition, click here.

The petition states that Democrats in the Assembly didn’t support the college aid for Gold Star families despite approving a $27 million package giving free college aid to the children of illegal immigrants. The Democrats also support free college courses to inmates in state prisons, according to the petition.

State Assemblyman Michael Norris, R-Lockport, also is rallying support for the legislation.

“The Majority’s move to block this legislation which helps Gold Star families – one week after approving $27 million in tuition assistance for the children of illegal immigrants – has been rightly the subject of extensive media coverage,” Norris said on his Facebook page. “Now, we need to keep the pressure on to pass this important legislation.”

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