Oregon House Republicans
HOUSE REPUBLICANS OFFER ALTERNATIVE TUITION EQUITY BILL
Minority Report Allows In-State Tuition to Students on Path to Citizenship
SALEM— House Republicans today offered an alternative “minority report” to HB 2787, the bill that would grant in-state university tuition to undocumented Oregon high school graduates. On a party-line vote, Democrats rejected the substitute measure that would have allowed in-state tuition to qualified students on a legal path to American citizenship. It also would have ensured that students can secure employment during school and after graduation.
“Our measure would have held the Oregon University System to the same standards that employers across Oregon are held to with regard to hiring legally documented workers,” said Rep. Gene Whisnant (R-Sunriver), who carried the minority report on the Floor. “Our measure not only ensures students can work while they’re in college, it will help ensure they are legally able to have jobs after they’ve earned their degrees.”
The Republican measure allowed in-state tuition to students that are on a path to citizenship or are participating in the federal deportation deferral program. The measure would have been limited to students who’ve been residing in the United States upon the bill becoming law. It would also apply a sunset date to enable the Legislature to evaluate its impacts and reauthorize the law if it proves effective.
“We do not know how many students will utilize the program and what the actual impact is on our colleges,” Rep. Whisnant said. “The sunset is a common-sense oversight tool allowing us to review the program.”
After the vote on the minority report, the House approved HB 2787 and sent it to the State Senate for further consideration. House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte) complimented Rep. John Huffman (R-The Dalles) and other Republican members of the House Higher Education Committee on their work to make the bill better.
“The original bill lacked sideboards and standards on who would benefit from in-state tuition,” Rep. McLane said. “Rep. Huffman and our members deserve credit bringing these issues forward and trying to improve a policy that was destined to pass in the Democrat controlled Legislature.”