Despite Pressure from Citizens, Washington Senate Passes “Dream Act”
It's not called the "Dream Act," but it's essentially the same.
By a vote of 35-10 the Washington Senate passed the "Real Hope Act" or Senate bill 6523. Its expands college financial aid to include students who were brought to the state illegally as children.
Senator Barbara Bailey, GOP Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee said:
"The key to a good future is a good education,. "We want all who reside in Washington state to have a good education and a good future."
The bill heads to the state House for consideration. It's very similar to House Bill 1817, which is called the "Dream Act," which was passed on the first day of the legislative session. The Senate version allocates $5 million to pay for the funding through June 2015, but the House bill does not list specific financial figures.
The topic of the Dream Act came up during a recent GOP telephone townhall meeting held by 8th District Senator Sharon Brown in Tri-Cities. Most of the 3,000 respondents who participated in a voting option during the townhall said they were against the idea. House Representative Larry Haler, (R) Richland, didn't specifically condemn the House plan, but was the only dissenting voice who presented the "no" side of the argument prior to the House approving their version of the plan.
During the Town Hall, Haler said over 30,000 qualified students who could receive state financial aid were not helped last year, perhaps a roundabout way of saying the "Dream Act" proposals could further steer away more funding from those who are already eligible.