Colorado is one step closer to passing a bill that would discount tuition for undocumented students seeking to attend college in the state, reports the Denver Post.
The measure passed the state Senate yesterday by a 20 Democrat – 14 Republican party-line vote, and now moves onto the state House, where Republicans hold a one-seat majority. The proposal involves no taxpayer money, and would allow undocumented students (who have completed three years of a Colorado high school and graduated in good standing) to pay a college tuition rate that is less than out-of-state prices, but more than in-state prices.
In a surprise for state lawmakers, not a single Republican spoke up to protest during the vote, though many did argue against it in an earlier debate. State Senator Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) told the Post that she believed that meant there was “more and more support for this bill and less and less to argue against it.”
State Senator Nancy Spence (R-Centennial) said that a party which has fought against women, minorities, and gays over the years might find it smarter to make friends during an election year.
A cousin of the state tuition bill, the state DREAM Act, has also been in the news in recent days. Young undocumented students in New York yesterday kicked off a march from New York City to Albany to raise awareness about their state DREAM Act; meanwhile in Maryland, efforts are underway to pass a November initiative that would repeal a state DREAM Act legislators passed last year.