Gubernatorial front-runner Diane Black unequivocally rejected the current efforts underway in the legislature to grant in-state tuition benefits to illegal immigrant students.
“I have said many times that if the state legislature were to pass a bill providing in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, I would veto it. In-state tuition is a benefit provided to legal residents of our state, and it should stay that way,” Black said in a statement, adding:
Too many times, so-called conservatives get elected promising to fight against liberal policies, only to embrace them once in office. It’s a shame to see our state legislature do just that, particularly without real debate or even a recorded vote in committee. It’s time for the true conservatives in the legislature to stand up and say no.
As The Tennessee Star previously reported, State Representative Mark White (R-Memphis) rammed his newest in-state tuition benefits proposal through the Education Subcommittee Tuesday with a voice vote and no discussion:
The Education Subcommittee of the Tennessee House of Representatives passed State Rep. Mark White’s (R-Memphis) bill granting in-state tuition to illegal immigrant students in Tennessee on a voice vote Tuesday afternoon.
Mark White – Education SubcommitteeWith the exception of State Rep. Dawn White’s (R-Murfreesboro) strongly worded statement opposing White’s bill, no discussion was had by the subcommittee before they passed the bill on a voice vote.
Bill sponsor State Rep. Mark White (no relation to State Rep. Dawn White), who chairs the Education Subcommittee, opted to move his bill up from number thirty-five on the agenda to the first one voted on by the subcommittee.
White’s bill, HB2429, is his fourth attempt to give illegal immigrant students access to taxpayer subsidized in-state tuition. To do this, White’s bill dismantles state law by removing reduced college tuition from Tennessee’s definition of “state or local public benefit.”
The Star reached out to all the top-tier candidates running for Governor for comment on State Rep. White’s bill.
Williamson County businessman Bill Lee issued a statement to The Star on Wednesday in which he said he would veto State Rep. White’s in-state tuition for illegal immigrant students bill.
Neither the Harwell campaign nor the Boyd campaign responded.