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Assembly Leader Urges Senate to Pass Dream Act

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Assembly Democrats have approved a one house version of the Dream Act, a bill to give college aid to the children of undocumented immigrants. They're now urging the Senate to follow suit.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who calls the Dream Act a top priority, blamed opposition among Senate Republicans for the measure's failure to advance in the upper chamber and he said the breakaway Independent Democrats in the Senate, who are in a coalition government with the GOP, need to work to bring the bill to the floor for a vote.

"We're hopeful that this year, facing election, there are enough Senators who will see that there is wisdom in what we are sending them," he said.

Senate Republicans have said they have concerns about the program's cost to taxpayers.

Speaker Silver said while his Democratic members feel strongly about offering tuition aid to children of immigrants, they do not have a consensus on a proposal by Governor Cuomo to offer free college to inmates in state prisons.

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