ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York lawmakers are poised to approve legislation known as the Dream Act that would extend state financial aid to students brought into the country illegally as children.

The Senate passed the measure Wednesday, with the Assembly expected to quickly follow. Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he'll sign the measure.

The bill had been blocked by Senate Republicans for years but gained new momentum this year when Democrats took control of the chamber.

To be eligible, a student must be a New York high school graduate. The bill is expected to cost $27 million.

Democrats said it's wrong to deny educational opportunities to New York children because of where they were born.

Republicans opposed the bill, saying it's unfair to taxpayers and immigrants who entered the country legally.