ASSET Takes Bipartisan First Step in House

(Feb. 27) – A bill to make sure all qualified Colorado high school graduates can better afford college sailed through its first House committee today.

SB13-033, sponsored in the House by Reps. Crisanta Duran (D-Denver) and Angela Williams (D-Denver), will offer in-state college tuition rates to all Colorado high school graduates, regardless of immigration status. It’s called Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow, or ASSET.

Numerous witnesses testified to the folly of wasting the talents and economic contributions of as many as 500 Colorado residents annually who graduate from high school but don’t have the same access to a college education.

“We shouldn’t squander our investment in young people who are Coloradans in every way except they lack legal immigration status,” Rep. Williams said. “We’ve developed a precious resource. Let’s finish the job by giving all of our students an equal shot at opportunity.”

“I’m so excited to see a time that I think we are coming upon in this country where we are more inclusive of all people, regardless of their background,” said Rep. Duran, who invited Republicans and Democrats on the committee to “come together on this issue and believe collectively in the future of our young people.”

The bill was approved on a 9-4 vote, with Reps. Kevin Priola (R-Henderson) and Jim Wilson (R-Salida) joining the panel’s seven Democrats. Next stop: the House Appropriations Committee.

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