Thursday, January 07, 2010

New Jersey Legislature To Vote On Illegal Alien Tuition Bill; Gay Marriage Bills: UPDATE: Gay Marriage Bill Defeated

It's a busy week in Trenton as the state legislature is looking to send two of the more controversial legislation pending to Gov. Jon Corzine before he heads into the sunset in less than two weeks and his successor is unlikely to sign them.

The first bill is a measure to give illegal aliens the right to attend the state university system in New Jersey at the in-state tuition rate.
The bill would benefit an estimated 2,000 illegal immigrants, those who support the measure say. Those advocates add that those immigrants sometimes must forego college because of their inability to pay out-of-state rates. Those rates are often twice as high as in-state tuition, which is about $11,000 for a four-year public university.

“It’s going to be tough,” said Cid Wilson, vice chairman of the Board of Trustees at Bergen Community College, and a vocal proponent of the measure. “If it passes, I think it will be very close. We need to remind the legislators that this is not an immigration bill; it’s an education bill.”

Under the proposed measure, illegal immigrants could attend college at in-state tuition rates if they show they have gone to a high school in the state for at least three years, received a high diploma or its equivalent from a state school and provide an affidavit saying that they have applied to immigration authorities to legalize their status.

“There are no special privileges here [for undocumented immigrants],” said Charles “Shai” Goldstein, executive director of the New Jersey Immigration Policy Network, a major proponent of the campaign in support the bills. “The bill has been redrafted over the years to make it as strict as possible.”
The bill would give illegal aliens rights that citizens of other states would not be entitled to - the right to in-state tuition. It's a giveaway that the state simply cannot afford to do. Out-of-state tuition costs double what New Jersey residents pay. That's a benefit that inures to illegal aliens that out-of-state citizens could only wish for.

Corzine has said that he'd sign the measure; Christie would oppose.

Meanwhile, the contentious gay marriage bill is supposed to get a vote today in the State Senate. It has been delayed for some time after proponents realized that they lacked the votes. They still do by the looks of it. Proponents are still eight votes short of having the necessary 21 votes to approve the gay marriage proposal. Only 13 Senators have publicly announced support for the bill.

The gay marriage bill was defeated 20-14 with three abstentions. The vote cut across party lines, as this list details:
YES (14)

Sen. Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic)
Sen. Bob Smith (D-Middlesex)
Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex),
Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak (D-Union), co-sponsor
Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex)
Sen. Teresa M. Ruiz (D-Essex)
Sen. Sandra B. Cunningham (D-Hudson)
Sen. Brian P. Stack (D-Hudson)
Sen. Nia H. Gill (D-Essex)
Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), co-sponsor
Sen. Robert M. Gordon (D-Bergen)
Sen. Nicholas P. Scutari (D-Union)
Sen. Joseph F.Vitale (D-Middlesex)
Sen. Bill Baroni (R-Mercer)

NO (20)

Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May)
Sen. Ronald L. Rice (D- Essex)
Sen. John A. Girgenti (D-Passaic
Sen. Nicholas Sacco (D-Hudson) .
Sen. Fred H. Madden (D-Gloucester)
Sen. Shirley K. Turner (D-Mercer)
Sen. Robert W. Singer (R-Ocean)
Sen. Joseph Pennacchio (R-Morris)
Sen. Christopher Bateman, (R-Somerset)
Sen. Tom Kean Jr. (R -Union)
Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth )
Sen. Joseph M. Kyrillos (R-Monmouth)
Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen)
Sen. Michael Doherty (R-Hunterdon)
Sen. Kevin J. O'Toole (R-Essex)
Sen. Philip E. Haines (R-Burlington)
Sen. Christopher J. Connors (R-Ocean)
Sen. Anthony R. Bucco (R-Morris)
Sen. Steven V. Oroho (R-Sussex)
Sen. Sean T. Kean (R-Monmouth)


Sen. Paul A. Sarlo (D-Bergen)
Sen. Stephen M. Sweeney (D-Gloucester)
Sen. James Beach (D-Camden)


Sen. Diane B. Allen (R-Burlington)
Sen. Andrew Ciesla (R-Ocean)

The vote on in-state tuition for illegal aliens was delayed.

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