DREAM Act legislation failed by a margin of two votes in the State Senate last night. The legislation which would have provided tuition assistance to the children of illegal immigrants, was brought up for a surprise vote. Thirty Democrats voted for the bill; all the Republicans voted against it, as well as Democratic Sens. Simcha Felder of Brooklyn and Ted O'Brien of Rochester. Gov. Andrew Cuomo voiced support for the legislation earlier in the day. Legislators and advocates have been trying to make the DREAM Act part of budget negotiations but this vote may have killed that effort. Some Democrats slammed the coalition between the Independent Senate Democrats and Republicans for preventing progressive legislation from passing. Others took it as a positive sign: "Six months ago, no one would have wagered that the DREAM Act would make it to the Senate floor in an election year, let alone come within two votes of passing,” said Democratic Sen. Jose Peralta from Queens, who sponsored the bill.
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