Inslee signs immigrant financial aid bill

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee has signed into law a measure that expands state college financial aid to students in the country without legal status.

In a highly divided Legislature, passage of the bill represents a big win for immigrant advocates. It’s also the first bill to become law this session.

Everett Community College student Irvin Enriquez stood behind Inslee as the governor signed the bill.

“For me, this will lighten the burden off my family,” said the 25-year-old Everett resident who intends to transfer to the University of Washington. “If not for me, it will be for my brother who is going to college next year.”

Enriquez said his family arrived from Mexico City when he was 10 years old and today they own a tire business in the city. He’s spent the past two years traveling to Olympia to lobby lawmakers to pass the bill.

“I’ve been really adamant about it because this issue touched close to home,” he said. “Even though I might not get it, I know a lot of people who need it.”

The Senate and House versions of the bill were almost identical but had different names.

The House version didn’t identify a funding source, but the Senate proposal allocates $5 million through June 30, 2015, from the general fund to pay for the financial aid payments under the state need-grant program.

The bill requires students to have received a high school diploma or equivalent in Washington state and to have lived in the state for at least three years before getting aid.

Herald Writer Jerry Cornfield contributed to this report.

More in Local News

Agencies launch coordinated response to an opioid ‘emergency’

Health workers, law enforcement agencies and emergency managers are responding as they might to a disaster.

Jordan Evers distributes coffee Sunday afternoon during the annual community meal at Carl Gipson Senior Center in Everett on November 19, 2017. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Firefighters serve Thanksgiving meals at Carl Gipson center

The next two feasts at the senior center in Everett will be Thanksgiving Day and Dec. 3.

Hiker rescued on Boulder River trail after 15-foot fall

She was reported to have possible leg and rib fractures.

Alleged philanderer attacked with hammer near Everett

His girlfriend had accused him of cheating and allegedly called on another man to confront him.

Snohomish County Council passes a no-new-taxes budget

The spending plan still funds the hiring of five new sheriff’s deputies and a code enforcement officer.

Darrington School Board race might come down to a coin flip

With a one-vote difference, a single ballot in Skagit County remains to be counted.

Search ends for 3 US sailors missing in Navy aircraft crash

Eight people were rescued quickly and are in good condition.

A seat at the table for everyone

Sultan’s community dinner ensures no one has to dine alone on Thanksgiving

Most Read