As lawmakers reconvene in Olympia Monday, the headliner is the state budget, but momentum is building to get the Washington State Dream Act added to the lineup too. Under the measure, young immigrants who are living in the US illegally would become eligible for college financial aid.
Immigrant students and supporters knocked on doors this weekend in a renewed push for the state Dream Act. The door-belling targeted the home districts of legislators who advocates blame for blocking the bill, including Sens. Rodney Tom of Medina, Andy Hill of Redmond and Joe Fain of Auburn.
During the regular session, the measure passed the Democrat-controlled House with strong bipartisan support. The bill appeared to have similar support in the Senate, where Democratic Minority Leader Ed Murray of Seattle said he’d counted enough votes for it to pass the floor. Yet the measure stalled in the Senate Higher Education Committee, where chairwoman Sen. Barbara Bailey of Oak Harbor declined to put it to a vote.
Governor Jay Inslee has said he’d like to see the Dream Act back in play during the special session. Republican Senate leaders were unavailable for comment Friday about the bill’s chance of being resurrected.
As the special session gets underway this week, immigrant advocates plan to continue their door-to-door efforts in Yakima.