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Jun-02-2011 17:29printcomments

Tuition Equity Petition Launched to Break Through Partisan Gridlock

Petition submitted to send SB 742 to a Vote.

Salem-News.com
OSU Students making their point near the state capitol. File photo by: Tim King KATU/Salem-News.com

(SALEM, Ore.) - Believing that the issue of access to college is too important to die because of committee gridlock, Rep. Michael Dembrow (D-Portland) today announced that he has filed a discharge petition to bring Senate Bill 742, fair access to affordable tuition, to a full vote of the Oregon House.

This legislation has garnered unprecedented bi-partisan support and diverse community sup- port from students, teachers, and administrators, to the Associated Oregon Industries and the Oregon Business Association. This widespread support helped pass SB 742 out of the Senate in March with a bipartisan vote of 18-11.

Now, however, it’s stalled in the House, where it could die without a floor vote. SB 742 would allow high achieving Oregon students who have attended an Oregon high school for at least three years, graduated, been accepted to an Oregon university, and are working towards citizenship to pay in-state tuition, rather than out of state tuition at 3 TIMES the cost.

Supporters applaud this petition because it ensures a bill with significant and positive im- pacts on Oregon’s students and economy does not fall victim to committee gridlock and get lost in politics.

Farbodd Ganjifard, chair of OSA’s Oregon Students of Color Coalition and newly appointed- State Board of Higher Education member, explained, “These students can’t wait any longer. A bill this critical deserves an up or down vote on the House floor. The future of these students shouldn’t be held hostage to a partisan political process, especially since SB 742 has had such wide bi-partisan support for months.”

Raul Reyes, a student leader at Mt. Hood Community College, could be a college admission board’s poster child. Having attended both Floyd Light Middle School and Centennial High School, Raul did it all. From wrestling to outdoor school counselor, he has been a role model and high achieving student.

Now successfully finishing his time at MHCC, Raul aspires to major in Mathematics and Economics and PSU. There’s just one problem—if he enrolls at one of Oregon’s public universities after he gradu- ates, Raul has to pay up to three times as much as his fellow students.

“This will open doors and allow me to give back and continue with my education.” Reyes commented.

“SB 742 is about education, advancement, and opportunity. By making Oregon university tuition accessible to me and many other undocumented students, we would also be bringing revenue to the universities that wouldn’t be there otherwise.”

The bill has the support of the Oregon University System, the State Board of Higher Education, and university presidents around the state. The state board of higher education passed a resolution in support of SB 742. Legislators have until the end of the day Tuesday to sign the discharge petition.

This bill is supported by:

ASSOCIATED OREGON INDUSTRIES
OREGON BUSINESS ASSOCIATION
MAIN STREET ALLIANCE OF OREGON
PORTLAND BUSINESS ALLIANCE
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS- OREGON
LANE COMMUNITY COLLEGE PRESIDENT MARY SPILDE
LANE COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD OF EDUCATION
MT. HOOD COMMUNITY COLLEGE PRESIDENT JOHN SYGIELKSI
OREGON EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT ED RAY
PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT WIM WIEWEL
SUPERINTENDEANT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION SUSAN CASTILLO
UNIVERSITY OF OREGON COLLEGE PRESIDENT RICHARD LARIVIERE
WESTERN OREGON UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT JOHN MINAHAN
ADELANTE MUJERES
ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN NETWORK OF OREGON, APANO
BASIC RIGHTS OREGON
BUS PROJECT
CAUSA, OREGON’S IMMIGRANT RIGHTS COALITION
CENTER FOR INTERCULTURAL ORGANIZING
Eastern Oregon University President Bob Davies
ECUMENICAL MINISTRIES OF OREGON
GRESHAM YOUTH ADVISORY COMMITTEE
JOBS WITH JUSTICE
LATINO NETWORK
MULTNOMAH YOUTH COMMISSION
OREGON STUDENT ASSOCIATION
OREGON THRIVES
RURAL ORGANIZING PROJECT
SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION, SEIU
Stand for Children
Southern Oregon University President Mary Cullinan
UPSTREAM PUBLIC HEALTH




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Mark Lee June 2, 2011 6:12 pm (Pacific time)

I do not believe it will come up for a full vote. Maybe they should ask to have it put on the ballot for 2012? Let the taxpayers, rather than special interest groups make the final decision. By the way the Oregon House passed a bill that prevented public exposure of the names of those with concealed handgun licenses. Literally all House democrats and republicans voted for passage of this bill. Then a couple of democratic senators have prevented it from coming to a full senate vote. So what's more important, the rights of citizens, or to allow non-citizens to have special rights beyond that of citizens from other states to have lower tuition costs? You do not reward illegal behavior regardless of what you think is right. We have laws, and they have been broken. We would have our citizens actually losing seats in classrooms if this bill passed. Let the taxpayers decide.Pretty sure we all know how that vote would work, so a few try to sneak it in under radar. This is a big deal, and all the voters should have the final say...

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