ALBANY, N.Y. — Democrats in the state Legislature are backing a proposal to expand free public college tuition for families of New York military members who die while performing their official duties.

Sen. John Brooks of Long Island announced his legislation Monday at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Lindenhurst alongside veterans and members of the Senate's Democratic majority.

Brooks' measure would also provide free tuition to family members of military members who are permanently disabled or missing in action.

The bill's introduction comes after a Democrat-led Assembly committee drew criticism for blocking similar legislation from proceeding to a vote.

Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, a Brooklyn Democrat who served in the Army, says he'll introduce the legislation in his chamber.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he supports the measure.

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