NYS Senate Co-Leader Dean Skelos says ‘no’ to merging DREAM Act with education investment tax credit

Senate Co-Leader Dean Skelos (R-Long Island) and Sen. Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn) said they would not support expanding a proposed education investment tax credit to help fund scholarships for the college kids of illegal immigrants–a plan some saw as a compromise to the DREAM Act that was voted down in the Senate last week. “The two items should stand separately and be judged on their merits,” Skelos and Golden said in a statement.

“Last week, legislation to approve the Dream Act was defeated on the floor of the Senate, but both co-leaders of the chamber believed it deserved a vote. Like Cardinal Dolan, we support the Education Investment Tax Credit because it would create bright new educational opportunities for countless New Yorkers, including immigrants and the poor. We should move swiftly to get it done.”Senate Republicans, while opposing the DREAM Act, which would allow taxpayer-funded state tuition assistance programs to be used on the college kids of illegal immigrants, support the education tax credit that would provide a benefit for those who donate to private and public schools.

Dolan Wednesday said there was discussion of expanding the tax credit to include those who give money that can be used toward scholarships for college students in need who might not otherwise qualify for assistance. Supporters of the DREAM Act came out quickly and strongly against the compromise, saying they want a full DREAM Act or nothing at all. Skelos and Golden put out the statement as Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders work to finalize a deal on a new state budget.

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