(Michael Strickland) More publicly funded welfare is headed to illegal aliens, this time by way of “free” college tuition, paid for by the working residents of Oregon.
Oregon Senator Michael Dembrow is the chief sponsor of SB 932, which would open up state funded scholarships to “undocumented students”. The program that disperses the state aid is the Oregon Opportunity Grant, and it currently provides $55 Million in funds for approximately 35,000 students.
The bill has passed the Oregon Senate on a 17-11 vote, with Senator Betsy Johnson being the lone democrat to vote against it, and has passed the Joint Ways & Means committee and is currently sitting on the House Speaker Tina Kotek’s desk.
“Against great odds, they’ve done what it takes to get through high school, and are the first in their family to attempt higher education. They are exactly the kind of kids we should be investing in,” Dembrow said.
Opponents have argued the grant program is already underfunded and doesn’t meet the needs of resident students.
An analysis from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Office saidaround 1,000 additional students every year could qualify for state aid under the bill. It concluded that without additional funds to the grant program, the proposal could make the awards slightly more competitive and possibly even skew the grants toward the new student population.
Currently, about 40 percent of the 120,000 students eligible for aid actually receive a grant, and each receives an average of $2,000.
“First of all, remember these students have grown up in Oregon, graduated from an Oregon high school,” he said. “We don’t think it will be a significant burden on the large population, but will do huge things for those students that qualify.”
KOIN 6 News learned the state is also increasing the amount of money they put into the grant program.
No quotes can be found from Dembrow regarding the students of families who have been in Oregon for multiple generations who will find themselves pushed out of the scholarships due to the extra competition. Nor does Dembrow have anything to say about the funds that would have to be diverted from other education areas in order to pay for this. However, Senator Dembrow can be seen in a video from Sheriff Joe counter protest, as he and state Reps Alissa Keny-Guyer and Joe Gallegos play on their phones and chat among themselves while the national anthem is playing.
You may recall that Oregon is one of the states with its own version of the “DREAM Act”, allowing illegal aliens to quality for in state tuition.