(Feb. 5) – The Education Committee approved a bill by Rep. Joe Salazar (D-Thornton) today on bipartisan 9-4 vote. The bill provides in-state tuition to American Indians whose tribes have historic ties to Colorado.

“There are incredibly low numbers of American Indian students enrolled in higher education institutions across the state,” Rep. Salazar said. “We know the American Indian community faces severe economic hardships and this bill will give them a much better chance of attaining higher education.”

The bill applies to forty eight different tribes, all of which have historic ties to Colorado. Currently twenty-seven percent of American Indian households are living below the federally recognized poverty level according to recent data from the US Census Bureau.

“Many of these young people could be contributing to our state’s economy and aren’t,” Rep. Salazar said. “I’m happy that a bipartisan group of my colleagues agree that this will attract talented students to Colorado’s higher education institutions and address the economic hardships that are being experienced by American Indian families.”

HB14-1124 will now be heard by the House Appropriations Committee.

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