By Jerry Cornfield
With her words and actions, the Republican leader of the Senate Higher Education Committee appears to be putting the kibosh on a bill allowing illegal immigrants bound for college to receive financial aid from the state.
Sen. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor, has not scheduled a vote on the bill known as the Washington Dream Act when her committee meets at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. She did, however, line up public hearings for 11 gubernatorial appointments to various higher education boards
It is the committee’s final gathering before a Wednesday deadline for it to act on non-budget policy bills
Meanwhile, Bailey foreshadowed her intentions Friday in a phone interview and an opinion piece posted online by a pro-business group. In both, she said the state cannot provide aid to all those already eligible for state aid and passing this bill would exacerbate the problem.
“I think the state’s financial assistance program needs to be looked at more closely before eligibility is extended to a new group. In order to set good policy, we need to spend more time studying the issue and evaluating the future financial impact,” she wrote for Washington Focus.
“State government has a bad habit of promising many things, but delivering few. It would be disingenuous for us to make an unfunded promise that can’t be kept.”