In an effort to placate supporters of the DREAM Act, Albany’s legislative leaders and Governor Andrew Cuomo may expand the education tax credit measure to cover charitable donations for college scholarships. Last week, Capital New York noted, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver rejected a trade in budget negotiations that would include both the Education Investment Tax Credit and the Dream Act.
The proposal is now being billed as a way to provide additional tuition assistance to the children of illegal immigrants while still not using state-funded programs like TAP.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan released a statement Wednesday supporting the compromise proposal.
“We have been advocating for the Education Investment Tax Credit as a critically needed measure to help provide scholarships for families to pay tuition for children attending private and parochial schools,” Dolan said in a statement. “At this time in Albany, there is discussion of expanding this education tax credit concept to include scholarship funding for college students in need, including those students who might not otherwise qualify for other assistance opportunities.
“We support this expanded concept and urge its passage,” Dolan added.
However, Queens Democratic Assemblyman Francisco Moya , who’s a main sponsor of the Dream Act in the Assembly, said Thursday that expanding the tax credit proposal to include scholarship funding for the Dream Act is not a “workable solution.”
“The DREAM Act must have a reliable funding stream,” Moya said in a statement. “Without that, most college-bound DREAMers will be left out in the cold. The futures of our state’s DREAMers are too important to be reliant upon the whims of donors.”
Thursday afternoon, Senate Co-Leader Dean Skelos and Brooklyn Senator Marty Golden released a statement opposing the compromise, based on Moya’s statement earlier today.
“We agree with Assemblyman Moya that the Dream Act should not be coupled with a proposal to create an Education Investment Tax Credit. The two items should stand separately and be judged on their merits,” a joint statement by Skelos and Golden read. “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,” they added. But urged to “move swiftly to get it done” on a separate manner.