(March 15) – The House quickly gave approval this morning to a bill by Rep. Brittany Pettersen and Rep. Daneya Esgar to allow in-state tuition rates for unaccompanied homeless youth. HB16-1100 adds “unaccompanied homeless youth” to the definition of “qualified person” to be defined as resident for tuition purposes at state-supported institutions of higher education.

“These are Colorado kids who went to Colorado schools,” said Rep. Pettersen, D-Lakewood. “Homeless youth deserve the same opportunities as their peers.”

“Many homeless kids lack relationships with their parents and can’t prove their residency,” said Rep. Esgar, D-Pueblo. “Young people who have lived in Colorado for at least a year with their families receive in-state tuition. We’re just giving the same opportunity to homeless youth, many who have lived here much longer than a year.”

Representatives Jim Wilson, R-Salida, and Paul Lundeen, R-Monument, spoke in favor of the bill and amendments that addressed concerns about federal control and how to define “homeless youth.”

The bill proceeds to a third reading.

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