Assemblyman Dan Stec, R-Queensbury, criticized the blocking of a bill that would provide free college tuition and room and board at SUNY schools to dependents of military veterans who died in service to the country.
The legislation, Assembly Bill 2991, did not advance in the Higher Education Committee last week.
Stec said the bill had bipartisan support and Gov. Andrew Cuomo had indicated he would sign it. Stec criticized the decision to hold the bill in committee, especially after the Legislature passed a bill to extend free college tuition to undocumented immigrants through the state’s Dream Act.
“As a veteran, the son of a veteran and the grandson of veterans, supporting our military members and their families, especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, is something I hold very dearly,” Stec said in a news release. “With the governor’s support and bipartisan support in the Assembly, I think there is no question that this bill should be brought to the floor for a vote. I encourage the Speaker to take action this legislative session.”
Stec has been named the recipient of the Good Scout Award from the Turning Point District of Twin Rivers Council.
Stec is receiving the award because he “established himself as a champion of transparency and ethics reform,” according to a news release.
He pushed for a constitutional amendment to allow elected officials to be stripped of their pensions if they have broken the law. In addition, he has helped shepherd through three amendments related to the Adirondack Park and has been working on critical issues the state faces, including aging infrastructure, high-speed broadband internet access, high taxes, job growth and education reform, according to a news release.
Stec will receive the award at a dinner on May 9 at The Great Escape Lodge. The reception will begin at 6 p.m. with the dinner and program at 7 p.m.
The event is a major fundraiser for the Boys Scouts. Proceeds will benefit the Turning Point District of the Twin Rivers Council, which serves more than 1,300 young people in Warren, Washington and northern Saratoga counties.
Against net neutrality
U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, voted in opposition last week to restoring net neutrality.
The Save the Internet Act of 2019 passed the House last Wednesday 232-190, with all Republicans except one voting in opposition.
The legislation would repeal rules issued by the Federal Communications Commission in December 2017 and reinstate Obama-era regulations that prohibited internet providers from slowing or increasing service speeds for certain customers.
Now the bill heads to the Republican-controlled Senate, where it faces an uncertain future.
Agricultural grants increased
New York is making $6.2 million in grants available to expand access to agricultural products through the Taste NY program.
The funding will help in the promotion and distribution of foods and beverages grown in the state. Taste NY products can be seen at the Adirondack Welcome Center between exits 17 and 18 in the northbound lane of the Northway.
“The state’s agricultural marketing programs provide our growers and food producers a platform to promote some of the best homegrown and local products in the world,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news release. “These programs are key to helping our farmers and food and beverage businesses connect to new markets and increase sales to grow their business and local economies.”
In 2017, the program had realized more than $16 million in sales.