Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation That Will Help New Yorkers Go to College

Press Releases

November 29, 2016

For Immediate Release: November 29, 2016
Contact: Elysia Murphy, (212) 673-1800 x18,
Contact: Nicole Dewey, (646) 810-4050 x138,

Law Sponsored by Assemblymember Buchwald and Senator Croci  Enables Families to Save Money for College at Tax Time

Last night, Governor Cuomo signed into law S6942/A9118, which will help New Yorkers go to college by enabling families to split their state tax refund and direct a portion of the refund into New York’s 529 college savings program at tax time. This bill was sponsored by Assembly member David Buchwald and NY State Senator Thomas Croci.

This law will transform the annual tax filing process into a meaningful step towards saving for college. While this law will benefit all families, it will be particularly beneficial for low- and moderate- income families: Research demonstrates that students who even have less than $500 saved are three and a half times more likely to attend and four and a half times more likely to graduate from college than similarlysituated students who do not possess a savings account.

In response, Citizens’ Committee for Children and The Financial Clinic, who have been championing this proposal for many years, are issuing the following statement:

Jennifer March, Executive Director, Citizens’ Committee for Children
“We applaud Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature for passing important legislation that will make the possibility of saving for college a reality for ALL children and their families. This new law will enable every New York family that files taxes to split their tax refund and deposit a portion into a 529 college savings account. Research clearly demonstrates how just a small amount of college savings can give a child a college-oriented identity and dramatically increase his or her chances of attending and completing college. In this competitive labor market, we know that we can never start too soon in providing our children with a clear path toward college and career. This law is a win-win for children, youth, families and all New Yorkers.”

Mae Watson Grote, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, The Financial Clinic
“On behalf of New York’s working poor families, The Financial Clinic wants to extend its sincere gratitude and congratulations to Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature,
especially Assemblymember David Buchwald and State Senator Thomas Croci, for recognizing that New York’s families, and especially its low-income families, need every opportunity to help save for their children to go to college.

Now, 9 million New Yorkers will have an annual chance to build savings at tax time and thousands will use that opportunity to make college easier for themselves and their children. With the rising cost of education and a greater than ever emphasis placed on educational success in the labor market, Governor Cuomo has demonstrated his commitment to New York’s families and the success of their children as well as building the financial security of working poor New Yorkers.

Looking forward, The Financial Clinic is eager to support the New York Department of Taxation and Finance as it acts to implement and extend this critical opportunity to New York tax filers.”

About Citizens’ Committee for Children:
Citizens’ Committee for Children (CCC) educates and mobilizes New Yorkers to make the city a better place for children. CCC’s advocacy combines public policy research and data analysis with citizen action. CCC casts light on the issues, educates the public, engages allies, and identifies and promotes practical solutions to ensure that every New York child is healthy, housed, educated and safe. For more information about CCC, visit

About the Financial Clinic:
The Financial Clinic’s mission is to build working poor peoples’ financial security through an ecosystem of strategies that includes direct service, capacity building with other nonprofits and systems-level solutions and social innovations to create lasting change. A high-performing organization with a focus on results, the Clinic has put over $50 million back in the pockets of more than 40,000 customers, supported more than 345 organizations in 23 states embed financial security actions into their program models, and successfully launched several policy campaigns in support of working poor families. For more information about The Financial Clinic, visit


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