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New York Assembly Passes DREAM Act, But Will Senate Follow Suit?

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- New York's Assembly passed a bill Tuesday that would open state tuition assistance programs to undocumented immigrants, a measure that now moves to an uncertain future in the Senate.

The Assembly voted 82-46 in favor of the DREAM Act after almost two hours of floor discussion. The bill also passed the Assembly last May, but died in the Senate.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, said that $27 million will be included for the DREAM Act in the Assembly's budget proposal, and he's asking the Senate to pass the bill this session.

New York Assembly Passes DREAM Act, But Will Senate Follow Suit?

Nose counters claim the act is three votes short in the state Senate, WCBS 880's Rich Lamb reported.

"The governor has said if you pass it, he will sign it into law," Silver said. "Let's get it passed, let's get it signed, and let's give all of our college-bound students a better future."

Silver said lawmakers who vote against the legislation would be turning their backs on the next generation.

"This is not a state that can afford to waste bright young minds," he said. "The DREAM Act will open the doors to higher education and self-fulfillment for all of our children."

But no Senate Republicans are backing the bill, with leader Dean Skelos saying the GOP opposes using taxpayer money on immigrants living in the county illegally.

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