State budget gets final approval from the Senate

Posted at 10:51 PM, Apr 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-09 22:51:14-04

New York will become the first state to make tuition at public colleges and universities free for middle-class students.

The tuition initiative is part of a new state budget approved Sunday by the state Senate, a day after the Assembly approved it.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo (KWOH'-moh) proposed the tuition plan, which will cost an estimated $163 million.

In-state students whose families earn $125,000 or less will be eligible. Cuomo says the idea is to provide new economic opportunities for New Yorkers by making college more affordable.

The $153 billion budget also includes provisions allowing the ride-hailing apps Uber and Lyft to expand upstate, and raises the age of adult criminal responsibility from 16 to 18.

The budget was due by April 1 but passage was delayed by difficulties in negotiations.