The New York Senate has rejected a bill to open up state tuition assistance to students in the country illegally.

Opponents have argued that using taxpayer money to fund tuition assistance for people in the country illegally takes opportunity and funds away from students who are citizens.

New York is among 16 states that already allow those students to pay in-state tuition at public colleges. The assembly passed the "dream act" last month .. but the senate vote was 30-29 .. 3 votes short of the 32 votes needed to pass.