House in-state tuition debate delayed a day
The House of Delegates has delayed debate on whether undocumented Maryland high school students should be able to pay in-state college tuition rates. They are now scheduled to take up the plan tomorrow morning.
The House Ways and Means Committee voted the bill out on a straight party-line vote yesterday, breathing life into it after it had lain dormant for weeks. The Senate passed a similar measure several weeks ago.
Movement out of the House committee bodes well for its final passage.
"We're optimistic that we have the votes," said Del. Justin Ross, chief deputy majority whip and a member of Ways and Means. "Otherwise, we wouldn't have voted it out of committee."
In a likely preview of the floor debate, lawmakers dabbed at tears and shared family stories Tuesday before the committee vote.
Del. Andrew A. Serafini talked about his grandfather, an Italian immigrant coal miner who struggled with alcoholism. The Washington County Republican said his father had to work hard to put himself through school.
"This is the land of opportunity, not the land of entitlement," Serafini said before voting against the bill.
Del. Eric G. Luedtke, a middle school teacher, recounted a story of seeing three honor students in tears one day because the mother of one of them had been detained by immigration authorities.
"They didn't understand what was happening," the Montgomery County Democrat said.
Explaining why he would vote for the bill, he said, "We are talking about children. They didn't make the decision to cross the border."