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

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Trail work by juvenile offenders builds resumes, confidence

Kayak Point trails were built out this year by groups from Denney Juvenile Justice Center.

Volunteers clean up homeless camp infested with garbage

The organization’s founder used to live and do drugs in the same woods.

Families begin relocating from public housing complex

Baker Heights is in need of repairs deemed to costly to make, and will be demolished and replaced.

Everett mayoral campaign is one of the priciest ever

Many campaign donors are giving to both Cassie Franklin and Judy Tuohy.

Arrests made in robbery-turned fatal Everett shooting

A man, 24, and woman, 18, were found at a hotel in Seattle.

Boeing marks the start of 777X production at Paine Field

It took tax breaks and union concessions to land assembly of the company’s new jetliner in Everett.

3 fire departments seek levies to support emergency services

District 25 in Oso is hoping to pass its first fire levy in 22 years.

Flood watches end for Snohomish County

No rain is forecast for the rest of the week.

Most Read