Demonstrators marched from Queens to Long Island on Saturday, demanding the passage of the 'New Deal for CUNY' bill.
The measure, introduced in the state legislature last spring, would increase funding for the university system, so that students wouldn't have to pay tuition.
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Protesters argue a lack of funding for CUNY schools is passing the financial burden onto students.
"We are looking to reverse years, indeed decades, of disinvestment in our public university systems," New York Senator John Liu said.
CUNY would need an additional $313 million toward its budget in order to offer tuition-free admission.
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