(March 8) – The Colorado House of Representatives gave final, bipartisan approval today to a bill to make sure all qualified Colorado high school graduates can better afford college.

After Rep. Angela Williams (D-Denver), urged a vote for “inclusiveness and equality,” and her cosponsor, Rep. Crisanta Duran (D-Denver), called on her colleagues “to use the vote the people have entrusted in us to make a very meaningful step,” SB13-033 passed on a vote of 40-21.

Three Republicans joined the House’s 37 Democrats in support of the bill. Four Republicans were not present for the vote.

The bill, known as Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow, or ASSET, was sponsored in the Senate by Sens. Angela Giron and Michael Johnston. It makes the in-state tuition rate at state colleges and universities in Colorado available to all students, regardless of immigration status, who graduate from high school in Colorado after attending for at least three years. To qualify, students who lack legal immigration status would also have to seek United States citizenship.

ASSET failed six times before in the General Assembly. It goes now to Gov. John Hickenlooper for his signature.

“It’s a very proud moment for me,” Rep. Duran said after the vote. “I’m thrilled for the hundreds of students who will benefit from this bill, who are Coloradans in every way except for a piece of paper. We just gave them a shot at the American Dream.”

“We’ve invested to develop a precious resource,” Rep. Williams said. “Now we’ll finish the job by giving all of our students the same path to college, and helping them become full contributors to a prosperous Colorado.”.

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