Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor
I’m very proud to share with you two bipartisan achievements that I’ve been working on in Albany this week. I’d like to hear your thoughts on our work, so please make sure you visit and “LIKE” our Facebook page to comment.
Monday morning it was my honor to host, with Sen. Ball, a bipartisan coalition of legislators to announce the Lalor-Ball Commitment to Military Education Act.
Our servicemen and women are facing an unfair end to the military tuition assistance that was promised to them when they enlisted. The sequester has led the military to suspend the tuition assistance program for active duty and reserve servicemen and women. This means that troops who are currently enrolled in classes and pursuing degrees will not have the funding to complete their courses and graduate.
This is wrong. Washington is breaking a promise we made to these young men and women. Many enlist because the tuition assistance promises them the opportunity to pursue an education. It also gives enlisted personnel the chance to pursue a degree and eventually a commission as an officer. That makes for a stronger military. Troops raising from the enlisted ranks to officers contribute to a diverse and well-rounded officer corps. If Washington can’t do the right thing, find the right places to cut and continue the assistance that was promised, New York needs to step up.
That’s why I’ve introduced the Commitment to Military Education Act. The bill will provide tuition reductions for servicemen and women currently enrolled in SUNY or CUNY schools who are affected by the suspension of the program.
We’re doing it all at a minimal cost to the state because these are tuition reductions, not reimbursements. We’re not imposing any new costs on SUNY or CUNY, the class space and buildings are already there. The only cost is the marginal cost of an additional student to a class. You can read the bill here.
Yesterday, my office was contacted by Arizona State Rep. Mark Cardenas, who has introduced a bill in Arizona based on our legislation.
On Tuesday, the 10th anniversary of the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, I introduced a resolution honoring the New York servicemen and women who sacrificed their lives for their country in Iraq. I’m grateful to my Assembly colleagues for passing the resolution and recognizing the brave Americans who joined the long list of American heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep this country free. I’m honored to have been a part of this bipartisan support for our troops.
Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor, a former teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes in Poughkeepsie, is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and founder of the Dutchess County based consulting firm KML Strategies, LLC. Lalor is the founder of Afghanistan & Iraq Veterans for Congress and a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel. He is a graduate of John Jay High School, Providence College and Pace Law School and lives in Fishkill with his wife Mary Jo and their four young children Katie, Riley, Mikey and Kieran Jr..