Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters in Buffalo on Wednesday he would support the state providing free public college tuition to the children of service members who died.

“I believe who served this nation and made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives, I believe their families should be shown the same respect. We have a moral obligation, a social obligation to help those families who lost their provider, their loved one, in service to this nation,” Cuomo said. “I would support providing free college tuition to SUNY schools for children whose parents were lost in service to this country.”

Republicans in the state Assembly sought to push the measure in a Higher Education Committee meeting, but were blocked by Democratic lawmakers.

The budget included the approval of funding for extending access to tuition assistance to undocumented immigrants, a measure known as the DREAM Act.

Republicans on Thursday cheered Cuomo’s remarks in support of their proposal.

“This is a huge victory for our servicemen and their families,” said Republican Assemblyman Cliff Crouch.

“With the governor’s support, the only thing that stands in the way of this becoming law is passage in the Assembly and Senate. Like I stated earlier this week, this bill has bipartisan support, there is no reason it needed to be held in committee other than politics. I commend the governor for his remarks on this legislation and want to thank him for coming out in support of the bill. I encourage my colleagues in the Assembly Majority to bring this bill to the floor for a vote.”