NEW YORK – Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), who has been named the presumptive nominee for Governor of New York by both the Republican and Conservative Parties, issued the following statement on Governor Kathy Hochul’s proposal to make incarcerated individuals eligible for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP):
“New York families throughout our state have worked hard, followed the rules, and fought to provide a better life for their family. Oftentimes, this involves saving up everything they can to send their children off to college, and New York’s Tuition Assistance Program has given many families the resources they need to make ends meet and make that dream a reality. If Albany wants to make changes to this program, it must be targeted to these everyday, law-abiding New Yorkers who don’t quite make the cut under the current rules. Rather than increasing the outdated income limit, Kathy Hochul has decided to expand eligibility to incarcerated individuals. Recidivism efforts are important, but not when it sidelines New Yorkers who have followed the rules but just miss the cut off. If Albany decides to make any changes to TAP, it should be targeted to the law-abiding New Yorkers who currently can’t afford college.”
The last time the family income eligibility threshold for TAP was raised was 2000 when it was lifted from $50,500 to $80,000.
About Lee Zeldin
Lee Zeldin was born and raised on Long Island. He grew up in Suffolk County and graduated from William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach, where his identical twin daughters attend school today. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Albany and then his law degree from Albany Law School, becoming New York’s youngest attorney at the time at the age of 23.
Lee spent four years on Active Duty with the U.S. Army after completing ROTC and served in different capacities, including as a Military Intelligence Officer, Prosecutor, and Military Magistrate. In the summer of 2006, while assigned to the Army’s elite 82nd Airborne Division, Lee deployed to Iraq with an infantry battalion of fellow paratroopers in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In 2007, Lee returned to Suffolk County with his family. It was at this time that Lee transitioned from Active Duty to the Army Reserve, where he currently serves with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
In 2008, Lee established a successful law practice in Smithtown, NY. Elected to the New York State Senate two years later, in 2010, Lee’s been working hard every day since to keep the promises he made to the hard-working families he represents.
In the State Senate, Lee successfully fought to repeal the MTA Payroll Tax for 80 percent of employers, a job killing tax that was hurting small businesses. Lee led the successful efforts to repeal the Saltwater Fishing License Fee and create the PFC Joseph Dwyer Program, a statewide program in New York to help our returning veterans cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Lee also wrote the law that protects our fallen veterans and their families from protests at military burials.
Lee was then elected to the United States Congress in 2014, representing New York’s First Congressional District, and quickly became a leading voice in America on top local, domestic and foreign policy issues.
Lee has secured many key victories for Long Island, which have included among many other successes:
Saving Plum Island, by securing the repeal of a 2008 federal law requiring the island to be sold off to the highest bidder. He also secured funding to repair the historic Plum Island Lighthouse and funding necessary to remediate environmental concerns on the island.
- Delivering a $2 billion Electron Ion Collider project to Brookhaven National Lab.
- Securing $8.3 billion in much needed funding to support treatment, enforcement, and prevention for those affected by the heroin and opioid abuse crisis.
- Working with the Army Corps of Engineers to protect our coastlines, advancing the ambitious $1.5 billion Fire Island to Montauk Point project, in addition to several other vital projects on the north and south shores of Long Island.
- Co-Chairing the Long Island Sound Caucus and delivering vast quantities of funding for the Long Island Sound Program, National Estuary Program and SeaGrant.
- Introducing and passing into law his Adult Day Health Care legislation for disabled veterans and opening a new health care clinic for East End veterans.
- Co-authoring a bipartisan resolution (H.Res. 246) that passed the House opposing the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.
- Successfully resolving over 17,000 constituent cases in favor of NY-1 residents.