Colo. Dems expedite illegals tuition bill
A proposal to grant in-state tuition to illegal immigrants passed out of a Colorado state Senate committee this week after Democrats moved up a vote on the bill to coincide with a Republican opponent's absence from the state on a family emergency.
Republican state Sen. Ted Harvey's father-in-law has Alzheimer's disease and his health began deteriorating so rapidly early this week that Mr. Harvey was forced to take a few days off to transport the ailing man from Florida to Colorado.
Even so, Mr. Harvey had planned to return to the state legislature in time for Friday's Appropriations Committee vote on Senate Bill 170, the in-state tuition bill. He had also planned to vote against it, which would have resulted in a 5-5 tie that would have killed the legislation.
Instead, the committee's Democratic chairman, state Sen. Abel Tapia, seized the opportunity and rescheduled the vote for Wednesday. Without Mr. Harvey, the bill passed 5-4 and now heads to the Senate floor.
Other Republicans on the Appropriations Committee tried to stop the early vote, but were stymied by Democrats. Mr. Tapia said later that the vote was rescheduled so that the committee could clear its backlog of bills.
The bill's sponsor, Democratic state Sen. Chris Romer, son of former Colorado Gov. Roy Romer, argued that there was no reason to wait until Friday because the Appropriations Committee is charged only with weighing the legislation's fiscal impact.
Democrats have argued that the bill would have a positive effect on the state budget because more students would be attending state universities and thus paying tuition. Republicans counter that the state will lose money because those students would ordinarily be paying the higher out-of-state tuition rate.