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April 5, 2011

In-state tuition bill moves to House floor

A controversial plan to allow undocumented immigrants to pay in-state college tuition rates is on track for passage this year, with a vote this afternoon to send the bill for debate in the full House of Delegates.

The House Ways and Means Committee approved the bill on a party-line vote of 14-7 (see jump). Del. Jon Cardin, a Baltimore County Democrat, abstained from voting, citing concerns about how the measure could impact the beleaguered state budget.

Under the proposal, illegal immigrants who attended at least three years of high school in Maryland, and whose parents have paid the state taxes, would qualify for in-state tuition rates at community colleges. After two years, they could transfer to four-year institutions and continue to pay residential rates.

The House plan makes several changes to what the Senate approved last month. Men would have to sign up for selective service, as all qualified 18-year-old males do, and the undocumented students would be counted as out-of-state students for admission purposes to avoid displacing other Maryland residents.

Lawmakers shared teary, personal stories before the committee voted -- a preview of what could be one more lengthy and emotional floor debate in the quickly waning session, which ends at midnight Monday.

Del. Justin Ross, chief deputy majority whip, predicted the tuition bill will gain final passage.

"We're optimistic that we have the votes," said the Prince George's County Democrat, who supports the bill and is a Ways and Means member. "Otherwise, we wouldn't have voted it out of committee."

Republicans raised numerous concerns at today's hearing.

"We're investing taxpayer dollars in people who may not ever legally be able to work in our state," said Del. Kathy Afzali, a Frederick County Republican.

Del. Andrew Serafini said higher education is not a "right."

"This is the land of opportunity, not the land of entitlement," the Washington County Republican said.

Voting yes
Del. Sandy Rosenberg, Baltimore Democrat
Del. Kumar Barve, Montgomery County Democrat
Del. Talmadge Branch, Baltimore Democrat
Del. Bill Frick, Montgomery County Democrat
Del. Carolyn Howard, Prince George's County Democrat
Del. Jolene Ivey, Prince George's County Democrat
Del. Anne Kaiser, Montgomery County Democrat
Del. Eric Luedtke, Montgomery County Democrat
Del. Aruna Miller, Montgomery County Democrat
Del. Justin Ross, Prince George's County Democrat
Del. Melvin Stukes, Baltimore Democrat
Del. Michael Summers, Prince George's County Democrat
Del. Frank Turner, Howard County Democrat
Del. Jay Walker, Prince George's County Democrat

Voting no
Del. Kathy Afzali, Frederick County Republican
Del. Joseph Boteler, Baltimore County Republican
Del. Mark Fisher, Southern Maryland Republican
Del. Ron George, Anne Arundel County Republican
Del. Glen Glass, Cecil and Harford counties Republican
Del. LeRoy Myers, Western Maryland Republican
Del. Andrew Serafini, Washington County Republican

Del. Jon Cardin, Baltimore County Democrat

* Del. Sheila Hixson, Montgomery County Democrat, is chairwoman and did not vote, as is customary. However, she sponsored the House version of the bill.

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 5:18 PM | | Comments (20)
Categories: 2011 legislative session, Immigration


uh we go again, come on goppies get your tired old worn out arguments a further airing...what part of illegal....blah, blah.....

Regardless of the merits of the issue, could we please have our representatives stop making policy based on "teary, personal stories", as they have far too often this session? And every session?

How about making policy based on a sober analysis of the facts before them?

No, I know. That's way too much to expect from our legislators. And, it seems, our electorate.

blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It's too bad you don't have any rebuttal to the "What part of illegal..." argument.
Let's see, the state is broke, we're trying to raise $1 billion in new fees (which aren't taxes, I guess) and these illegal immigrants can't get a legal job after they graduate. How can you defend that, Ray?
And John Cardin, VOTE 'NO'!
If we have such a "beleaguered state budget", then why did you not vote? Hypocrit!

I hope the legal residents of Maryland realize that you are subsidizing this program with both your taxes and a RECORD HIGH debt level for the State. Your legislators should be held accountable for this foolishness and be voted out.

Just look at what counties the Demothieves represent. These counties have stollen more tax money and wasted it than the rest of the state combined. What's going on here is the liberal thieves are paying yet another minority for their vote down the road. And the rest of you guys sit there and take it like a bunch of sheep.

Here we go again - who is lobbying for this now -illegal folks can not vote, how do they pay taxes w/o social security and not that O'Malley 2nd term is over - taxes, fees, tolls, etc. is going to up an up an up!!!!!!!!!

Are you kidding me? I have paid Maryland taxes forever and you are telling me my children may lose their spot at the University of Maryland to an illegal immigrant? It is hard enough to get in already. The next thing that will happen is thousands of kids from India, who are much better educated than our kids, will flood the market, take over our Universities and keep our kids out. Why doesn't the lousy liberal government in Maryland work on improving our primary and secondary education instead of giving away our future to foreign countries????

This article indicates that Illegal Immigrants attend at least 3 years of High School in Maryland to be eligible for this messed up entitlement. Who the hell is letting illegal immigrants attend Maryland Public High Schools???? Instead of this law, how about kicking these illegals out of our public schools? The Maryland legislature is the laughing stock of the entire country.

The real story behind this is that the politicians cut a deal with the university regents. letting the illegals in at the low fee will actually drive up the universities average sat and gpa scores, because the illegals are better educated than our own kids, thanks to stupid policies like this. So the regents can attract more out of state students, making them look better and robbing us.

Thank god it's not a partisan bill.

@Block2a - if by the rest of us taking it like sheep you mean those of us in the other counties (the ones whose representatives voted no) what do you want us to do ?? We can only vote in our own districts, we don't have an impact on the people voted into office in other counties. Things will never change in Maryland because of the demographics of our state (the four counties that are almost 100% democrat and more than 50% of the states population - Prince Georges, Montgomery, Howard, and Baltimore) - we just either need to accept it and make the best of it or move out. Ultimately its not like our state schools are all that great anyway... some schools in PA, WVA and VA offer their in-state tuition to MD students so there are other options.

The best move for this Bill is the waste basket. Jon Cardin you are fool!

Where does all this hatred come from? Why is everyone against a person having a shot at an education? I would prefer to give an immigrant worker from a farm field on the eastern shore some hope of an education than to be in this country with no hope. People with no hope are the ones who resort to crime and live in MD prisons. Really, how many immigrants does this effect? I would suspect not many, there are many barriers to overcome if you are poor, even in state tuition is too high for most.

The dam is broken.
The more breaks the illegals receive from Annapolis the more will come here, straining our social services and consuming even more of our tax dollars. One of the prevoius posters said it best put up with it or move out of state.
With the Democratic stranglehold on the population centers of Maryland and with those same voters so easily misled-see OMalley campaign 2010-there is nothing left to do but depart.
You win Ray Barcia.

Maryland already spends over $1.25 BILLION-plus per year on education and health benefits to illegal immigrants and their children. Enough is enough. If this entitlement for ILLEGALS passes it MUST go to a referendum so that the CITIZENS of Maryland can have a voice.

This is an insult to citizens and those who have entered this country legally. Look at other headlines that the University of Maryland will raise tuition 3% next year, someone has to pay for illegals I guess.

Illegals depress the wages of our most endangered citizens. Meanwhile they send an estimated $921 million per year (in 2006) from Maryland to Latin American and Caribbean countries. This is money that does not benefit our economy, causing further economic harm to legal residents.

And don't give us the "the bill requires they pay taxes" argument. The bill requires that they FILE income taxes, they pay little to nothing on claimed income, excluding the shadow cash-only economy that exists.

Or they have to sign a affidavit saying they will pursue citizenship. They already ignore the laws of this country, don't be so naive to think a piece of paper means anything to them.


The reality is they don't know how many this will affect. A conservative estimate of the cost is $800,000 the first year, and rising from there.

I would rather that money be spent to lift up African-American males in Maryland who are citizens. We're losing a generation of a segment of our own citizenry while giving handouts to illegals. Illegals can attend college, we the taxpayers must simply refuse to subsidize them.

We are already required by federal law to provide illegals with a high school education. That is enough.

Here are all the email addresses for the people voting "No" I hope everyone speaking out against this bill communicate their disapproval.;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

This is a disgrace. It is ILLEGAL for Illegal aliens to pay taxes other than sales tax. Illegal aliens are not allowed to work. (but they do under the table)This bill is about incrementalising AMNESTY! We owe you NOTHING illegal aliens! NADA! Maryland has the dumbest voters on the planet. Look at the CRAP that you have elected into office, politicians who pander to criminals.
Illegal aliens have more rights than legal tax paying citizens in this state. CASA de Maryland tells Annapolis what to do and they jump. Did you know that your taxes have gone to CASA de Maryland? Do some research people. You won't find the facts in the media.

This bill is a disgrace. It is ILLEGAL for Illegal aliens to pay taxes other than sales tax. Illegal aliens are not allowed to work LEGALLY. (but they do under the table and this allows them to collect benefits for themselves and their illegal alien and anchor kids)This bill is about incrementalizing AMNESTY! We owe you NOTHING illegal aliens! NADA! Maryland has the dumbest voters on the planet. Look at the CRAP that you have elected into office, politicians who pander to criminals.
Illegal aliens have more rights than legal tax paying citizens in this state. CASA de Maryland tells Annapolis what to do and they ask "well, how high should we jump?" Did you know that your taxes have gone to CASA de Maryland? Do some research people. You won't find the facts in the media. Victor Ramierez squirmed the whole time he was questioned regarding this bill in the General Assembly. He couldn't answer one question about documentation of "paying taxes" which they can't pay, "proving that they were going to apply for citizenship, etc." And when asked "why put this bill through when the illegal aliens cannot even work LEGALLY" He said: "hopefully the law will change!" Sounds like a wish for YET ANOTHER AMNESTY TO ME! CASA de Maryland - working to make illegal aliens feel entitled to whatever they want. Wouldn't it be great to be able to pick and chose which laws we can break?

My granddaughter from md has to go to virginia for school..She is born and raised in america..Does she get instate tuition in virginia even though she born in this country and lives in md? Hell no.!! The kids of illegal aliens have been raised by tax $$ since they came to america or born here while their illegal criminal parents on welfare continued to work. While their criminal parents came to our country for a better life yet had "babies for profit" welfare, worked our jobs, drove our roads and couldn't read or write english and vote.. Hense the pos elected officials who voted for this instate tuition garbage just for their votes.. They will answer to their maker one day..

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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