Great news! The Oregon House has now passed the tuition equity bill, HB 2787, sending it along to the Senate for final passage.
The vote was 38-18 - that's five Republicans joining 33 Democrats voting in favor. No Democrats voted against. The five Rs were Cliff Bentz of Ontario, Vicki Berger of Salem, John Huffman of The Dalles, Mark Johnson of Hood River, and Julie Parrish of West Linn.
The vote wasn't without controversy, as Republicans pushed a "minority report" - an alternative proposal. From the O's Yuxing Zheng:
House Republicans unsuccessfully proposed an alternative version that would have let the bill expire in 2016 and limited tuition equity to undocumented immigrants in the U.S. by July 1. Republicans also wanted stricter guidelines on how students would demonstrate they intended to become lawful residents.
That minority report was defeated 33-23 - which means that five Republicans voted first in favor of the minority report, and then in favor of the bill as proposed.
Update: Governor John Kitzhaber hailed the vote. From a statement:
“I applaud the House for its bipartisan vote in support of House Bill 2787, which provides tuition equity for all Oregonians. Thousands of young people attend our schools, work hard, get good grades and graduate from high school, but are then denied equal access to community college and university. By removing roadblocks to their post-secondary education, we open new opportunities to them and the opportunity for our state to capitalize on the investment we've made in these students through the K-12 system. Every Oregonian deserves their shot at the American Dream, and I appreciate the hard work of so many Oregonians to make this possible. I look forward to signing the bill.”