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Shocker! NY Gov. Cuomo’s ‘free’ college tuition plan not so ‘free’ after all (on multiple levels)

By Doug Powers  •  April 11, 2017 08:01 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

The New York governor has added a couple of “feel the Bern” disclaimers to his “free college tuition” plan: A) The tuition’s not “free,” and B) Neither is anybody who takes advantage of the program:

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that the requirement was added to protect the state’s investment in a student’s education by ensuring they don’t take advantage of free tuition and then leave New York. The rule wasn’t a part of Cuomo’s free college tuition proposal when he unveiled it in January but was inserted during final negotiations with lawmakers over the state budget, which was approved Sunday.

The tuition initiative, which Cuomo said is a national model, covers state college or university tuition for in-state students from families earning $125,000 or less. Students must remain in New York for as many years as they received the benefit. They must repay the money as a loan if they take a job in another state.

“Why should New Yorkers pay for your college education and then you pick up and you move to California?” Cuomo said during a call with state editorial writers. “The concept of investing in you and your education is that you’re going to stay here and be an asset to the state. If you don’t want to stay here, then go to California now, let them pay for your college education.”

NY state mottos — Out: “Excelsior!” In: “You’re going to stay here and be an asset to the state.” The latter could be dressed up as “Indentured Servitude We Can Believe In.” Cuomo’s latest move is sure to help keep New York a destination of choice… for outbound movers. But at least Cuomo admitted that somebody pays for all the “free” stuff, and by “somebody” I mean “everybody.”

Percent chance that the “give us this for free” crowd who are squawking about Cuomo’s added conditions will take a lesson from it: ZERO.

When it comes to trying to keep people from leaving the state, the super-inclusive Cuomo ceases to be governor of New York and morphs into the King of Mixed Messages:


No “free college” for you!

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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