New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed free tuition at the state’s public colleges for students from low- and middle-income families on Tuesday, seizing on an idea that became a rallying cry for many Democrats in last year’s presidential election.
Under Cuomo’s plan, which he called the first of its kind in the nation, the state would cover tuition for any student from a family earning less than $125,000 a year by 2019, a means-tested benchmark that coincided with one proposed by Hillary Clinton in her failed presidential bid.
“College is a mandatory step if you really want to be a success,” the Democratic governor said as he announced the plan, which requires approval by the state’s legislature. Cuomo is widely seen as a potential future presidential candidate.
About 70 percent of jobs in the state now required a college education, he said. He described graduating with thousands of dollars of debt as “like a starting a race with an anchor tied to your leg.”
The cost of higher education and the burden of student debt emerged as a major issue in the race between Clinton and Bernie Sanders to become the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate in 2016.
Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont and a Brooklyn native, joined Cuomo for the announcement at the LaGuardia Community College in the New York City borough of Queens, and he repurposed familiar talking points from his campaign.
“The Democrats and Republicans and independents understand that technology has changed, the global economy has changed,” he said to a crowd of Queens students who had been chanting his name minutes earlier. He said a college degree was virtually mandatory in a way that a high-school diploma had been in previous decades.
From the start of his presidential campaign in 2015, Sanders promised to make tuition free for everyone who attends state colleges. The promise helped draw huge crowds of young people to his campaign rallies and pressured Clinton, who was promising in less sweeping terms only to reduce student debt, from the left.
After Clinton had all but secured the party’s nomination last summer, she announced a means-tested variant of the Sanders plan last July in what was seen in part as a gesture toward bringing the party’s more liberal, left-leaning flank back into the fold.
For undergraduate students who hail from New York, tuition for a bachelor’s degree costs $6,470 per year at the State University of New York’s colleges, and $6,330 per year at the City University of New York’s four-year colleges. Other expenses such as room and board, which can cost up to $12,590 at SUNY colleges, would not be covered under the plan.
Cuomo said his proposed Excelsior Scholarship would cost about $163 million a year, although he did not specify how the state would cover this cost. He said it would potentially benefit some 940,000 families with college-age children in the state.
(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Andrew Hay)
Trump badly needs GOP wins in these deep-red states to hold off impeachment momentum
President Donald Trump badly needs Republican gubernatorial wins in three deep-red states, but they're anything but a sure bet.
The president is expected to campaign for GOP candidates for governor in Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi over the coming weeks, and some of his most prominent supporters, including Vice President Mike Pence, will help out, reported Politico.
“(Those) are states where Republicans can win races for governor," said Henry Barbour, a Republican National Committee member and the nephew of former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour. "Those would be big momentum wins for President Trump heading into 2020, but in the unlikely event we lose in all those states it would clearly be a troubling sign that the president would have to overcome."
New evidence that an extraterrestrial collision 12,800 years ago triggered an abrupt climate change for Earth
What kicked off the Earth’s rapid cooling 12,800 years ago?
In the space of just a couple of years, average temperatures abruptly dropped, resulting in temperatures as much as 14 degrees Fahrenheit cooler in some regions of the Northern Hemisphere. If a drop like that happened today, it would mean the average temperature of Miami Beach would quickly change to that of current Montreal, Canada. Layers of ice in Greenland show that this cool period in the Northern Hemisphere lasted about 1,400 years.
This climate event, called the Younger Dryas by scientists, marked the beginning of a decline in ice-age megafauna, such as mammoth and mastodon, eventually leading to extinction of more than 35 genera of animals across North America. Although disputed, some research suggests that Younger Dryas environmental changes led to a population decline among the Native Americans known for their distinctive Clovis spear points.
Morning Joe drops bomb on Trump about impeachment support in states he desperately needs in 2020
Kicking off Tuesday's "Morning Joe" on MSNBC, hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski busted out the latest polling numbers about support for impeachment in key battleground states and let Donald Trump know he is deeply underwater.
Jumping right into it, the Brzezinski said, "Half of voters in six states that helped carry Trump to victory in 2016 say they support the House Democrats' impeachment inquiry into the president. According to the latest New York Times/Siena College poll put that support at 50 percent of voters in Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Arizona -- 45 percent say they oppose."