On Thursday morning, House Democratic leaders spoke in opposition to a bill to repeal in-state tuition for students who aspire to be American citizens.
“We oppose this bill because we believe that state policies should reflect the values of our citizens and there is no value more important to
Kansans than creating opportunities for our children,” House Democratic Leader Tom Burroughs (D-Wyandotte County) said.
At the press conference, Democrats stated the existing policy treats all Kansans fairly and equally.
“These are students who have graduated from our local Kansas high schools. They have worked hard, stayed out of trouble, and are pursing citizenship," said Rep. John Alcala (D-Topeka). “We should not deny them access to in-state college tuition rates that are available to all their other classmates.”
Assistant House Minority Leader Louis Ruiz (D-Kansas City), who is a also member of the House Commerce, Labor and Economic Development Committee, pointed to the current in-state tuition policy as a means of promoting economic growth and prosperity.
“Education is the cornerstone of our democracy and our economy, so when we enable young people to attend college, we all reap the benefits,” he said.
Democrats criticized sponsors of the bill for playing politics with people’s futures.
“How we treat new Americans reflects our commitments to the values that define us as Kansans," Burroughs said. “These are students who aspire to be American citizens and in-state tuition is one vehicle to help them achieve the American Dream. Why would we want to take that right away?”
The House Education Committee plans to work the bill, HB 2189, at 1:00 Thursday afternoon in room 112-N.
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