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  1. #1
    Senior Member Dixie's Avatar
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    WI Budget panel OKs in-state tuition for some illegal immig

    Current episode of Liberals Gone Wild

    Budget panel OKs in-state tuition for some illegal immigrants
    By Stacy Forster and Patrick Marley of the Journal Sentinel

    Posted: May. 23, 2009

    Madison - The Legislature's Joint Finance Committee approved measures Friday that would let some illegal immigrants pay in-state college tuition, and provide limited legal protections to same-sex couples.

    Democrats who control the committee pushed through the measures over Republican objections, on party line votes of 12-4. The provisions were folded into the state budget the panel plans to send to the full Legislature.

    The committee also approved establishing new schools of freshwater science and public health at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. It did not provide funding.

    Wisconsin high schools graduate 400 to 650 illegal immigrants annually, and they must pay out-of-state tuition if they enroll at University of Wisconsin System schools or state technical colleges.

    The change would allow some to pay in-state tuition. Ten other states have similar laws.

    "This gives children hope," said Rep. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse).

    Republicans said the benefit didn't make sense.

    "This is the ultimate brain drain because they cannot be employed legally," said Rep. Phil Montgomery (R-Green Bay). "They are going to leave this state."

    Illegal immigrants at UW schools would save $6,984 to $14,250 a year. But the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau said schools could increase revenue because high costs keep many illegal immigrants out of school.

    To qualify, students would have to reside in Wisconsin for three years, graduate from Wisconsin high schools or earn equivalency degrees here and pledge to apply for permanent residency visas.

    The committee also approved creating domestic partnerships for same-sex couples and extending health-care and other benefits to the domestic partners of state employees.

    Under the proposal, the state would give same-sex couples 43 of the more than 200 rights and benefits married couples have, such as allowing domestic partners to take family and medical leave to care for a seriously ill partner, or make end-of-life decisions.

    Republicans said they objected because of the extra cost to the state, which is facing a $6.6 billion deficit.

    Insurance benefits for domestic partners of state employees would cost an estimated $4.7 million to $6.7 million a year of state tax dollars, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau. Some local communities that already provide domestic partner benefits have reported lower-than-expected costs, the bureau said.

    "This could be a good idea, but . . . this isn't the right time to even consider it," said Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills).

    Committee co-chairman Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison), who is gay, said it's a matter of fairness to provide basic legal protections. UW-Madison is the only Big Ten school that doesn't offer domestic partner benefits, and Biddy Martin, the school's chancellor, said in a statement that the benefits would help retain and attract faculty and staff.

    "Most reasonable, compassionate people in the state of Wisconsin think it makes sense to at least allow basic protections to same-sex couples," Pocan said.

    Some opponents have said such domestic partnerships could violate the state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage passed by 59% of voters in 2006.

    It banned same-sex marriage as well as any identical or substantially similar legal status, such as a civil union. Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, which advocated for the amendment, said the measure too closely resembles marriage, and has attorneys evaluating it for a possible challenge.

    "Its intent is to create something that is a legal status substantially similar to that of marriage," Appling said.

    The nonpartisan state Legislative Council reviewed the proposal and determined that the domestic partnerships wouldn't create a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage or be inconsistent with the amendment.

    The committee also voted 16-0 to scale back spending on about 20 items it had approved earlier, before lawmakers learned the two-year deficit has widened from $5 billion to $6.6 billion.

    Among the changes were capping a film industry incentives program at $1.5 million a year. The program has no cap now; legislators earlier put the cap at $3 million, far above the $470,000 Gov. Jim Doyle wanted.

    Erica Perez of the Journal Sentinel staff contributed to this report.

    http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolit ... errer=digg
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  2. #2
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    Have these legislators lost their collective minds? Giving in-state tuition to illegals is depriving the university system of needed dollars, so taxes will go up and since illegals will not be allowed to work in the community (yet) they cannot give back to society what they have taken from it! Wisconsin has already given them free education, plus probably breakfast and lunch as well.
    Great idea, give permission for a few new curricula but don't fund them. That makes no sense. Who is going to pay the bill for new professors until the programs get going? Taxpayers, maybe?
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  3. #3
    Senior Member USPatriot's Avatar
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    Some Dems and other Pro-IA's would like us all to believe we are the ONLY country in the world who has colleges.
    "A Government big enough to give you everything you want,is strong enough to take everything you have"* Thomas Jefferson

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