Fresh off the Senate’s defeat of the Dream Act, the Senate Democratic leader and sponsor of the bill are pushing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to include it in the state’s final budget deal. But a top Senate Republican suggested Thursday he doesn’t see it coming up during negotiations.
The bill, which would provide state-level tuition subsidies to students in the country illegally, was defeated in the Senate on Monday despite 30 voting in favor and 29 against. (A bill needs 32 votes to pass in the 63-seat chamber.)
In a letter Thursday to Cuomo, Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, and Sen. Jose Peralta, D-Queens, called on the governor to push for it in the budget.
“While the DREAM Act did not receive the necessary votes to pass the State Senate, we are confident that once included in the State Budget many of the Senators who voted against this stand alone bill will vote in favor of a comprehensive budget that includes the DREAM Act,” Stewart-Cousins and Peralta wrote.
Advocates of the bill have been pushing lawmakers and Cuomo to include its provisions in the budget. Two Democrats voted against the bill in the Senate—Sen. Ted O’Brien, D-Irondequoit, Monroe County, and Sen. Simcha Felder, D-Brooklyn, who caucuses with Republicans.
Cuomo suggested that the Senate isn’t amenable to discussing the Dream Act as part of the budget.
“The speaker supports the Dream Act. I support the Dream Act. The Senate’s position is that they took a vote on the Dream Act, and the Dream Act went down,” Cuomo told reporters.
Sen. Thomas Libous, R-Binghamton, said he doesn’t anticipate the Dream Act to be part of budget negotiations. He said Democrats wanted a vote on the issue and they didn’t have the votes to pass it.
“I think the Dream Act has sailed this year. Its ship has sailed,” Libous said.
Here’s the letter: