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THE LYNNFIELD ADVOCATE
– Friday, March 17, 2017
Page 2
THE HOUSE AND SENATE.
There were no roll calls in the
House or Senate last week.
The debate over immigra-
tion continues to dominate
the news following President
Trump’s new version of an ex-
ecutive order restricting travel
to the U.S. from six countries
with links to terrorism.
Where do local state repre-
sentatives stand on the immi-
gration issue? This week, Bea-
con Hill Roll Call researched
local representative’s votes
on several roll calls on the im-
migration issue from 2013
through 2016. Here are the
results.
The first three House roll call
votes involve successful at-
tempts by Speaker Robert De-
Leo and his Democratic leader-
shipteamtopreventDemocrat-
icmembers fromhaving tovote
directly against several Republi-
can proposals to restrict access
to state funding by illegal im-
migrants. The Democrats, with
acurrent 125 to35membership
advantage, control the House.
Here’s an example of how it
works: The Republicans offer a
proposal banning illegal immi-
grant students frompaying the
preferred, lower in-state tuition
rates and fees atMassachusetts
state universities. If the Demo-
cratic leadership does nothing,
there would be a roll call vote
on the lower in-state tuition
rates. Most Democrats would
vote against it and then would
have cast a direct voteon a very
controversial issue.
To avoid that situation, a
Democratic member offers a
“delaying” amendment that
would prohibit the ban from
taking effect until the Baker ad-
ministration studies the impact
of such a ban.
Under House rules, the
amendment to study anddelay
the ban is voted upon first. If it
passes, which it always does, no
other amendments can be in-
troduced and the original pro-
posal thatwouldsimplyprohib-
it the lower tuition rate is dead
without ever having a direct
vote on it. Republicans say that
the studies are a shambecause
they are never done.
This is all pre-planned by the
Democratic leadership.Thepre-
siding officer at the podium
calls upona representativewho
is loyal tohimand thatmember
proposes the study. Even if aRe-
publicanmember is waving his
or her hands andshouting tobe
recognized, he or she will not
be called upon because it is as-
sumedheor shewouldnot pro-
pose the study.
GOP members have always
beenwary of this ploy andhave
spoken out strongly against
it. They urged the Democrat-
ic leadership to stop purposely
trying toconfuse thevoters and
instead allow a vote directly on
the issue itself, not a study of it.
The Democrats fall into four
categories. Some Democrats
favor the ban and votewith the
Republicans against the study.
Others say they are truly open
to thebanbut vote for the study
because they want to find out
the cost first. A third group op-
poses the ban but also oppos-
es the study because they feel
there should be a direct vote
on the proposal. Most Demo-
crats who vote for the study ac-
knowledge that it is designed
to protect them by preventing
them from being required to
vote directly on the ban.
Beacon Hill Roll Call urges
you to read the roll calls care-
fully and be aware that on the
first three roll calls, a “Yes” vote
is for the study and essential-
ly is against the restriction or
ban. Conversely, a “No” vote is
against the study and general-
ly favors the restriction or ban.
STUDY PROHIBITING LOW-
ER TUITION RATES FOR ILLE-
GAL IMMIGRANTS (H 4000)
House 103-46, approved a
Democratic leadership-spon-
sored amendment prohibiting
a proposal barring illegal immi-
grant students frompaying the
preferred, lower in-state tuition
rates and fees atMassachusetts
state universities from taking
effect until the Department of
Higher Education studies the
impact of the barring.
Supporters of the study said
many of these students were
babieswhentheywerebrought
here by their parents and had
no choice about entering the
country illegally. They noted
somehardworkingstudents are
currently required to pay out-
of-state tuition rates that areup
to five times higher than the in-
state rate.
Opponents of the study said
sending the bill to a study com-
mittee essentially kills it and ar-
gued the state should not of-
fer financial rewards to anyone
who has broken the law and is
in this country illegally. They
said it is outrageous tooffer low
tuition rates to these students
while legal citizens from out-
side Massachusetts, including
war veterans, are required to
pay higher rates if they attend a
Massachusetts state university.
The roll call vote is on the
amendment to study, rather
than vote directly on the ban-
ning of lower tuition rates for
illegal immigrants.
(A “Yes” vote
is for the study. A “No” vote is
against the study.)
Rep. Stephan Hay
Was not yet elected
Rep. Bradley Jones
No
Rep. Theodore Speliotis
Yes
Rep. Thomas Walsh
Was not yet elected
STUDY LOWER TUITION
RATES FOR VETERANS (H
4000)
House 107-42, approved a
Democratic leadership-spon-
sored amendment prohibiting
a proposal that would allow
honorably discharged veter-
ans to pay the preferred, lower
in-state tuition rates and fees
at Massachusetts state univer-
sities from taking effect until
the Department of Higher Ed-
ucation studies the impact of
the lower rates for veterans.
The proposal would offer the
discount to all in-state veter-
ans and to any veteran from
across the nation who desig-
natesMassachusetts as his/her
intended home and moves to
Massachusetts within one year
of attending a state university.
Supporters of the study said
there is no estimate on how
much it would cost the state to
offer this discount to all these
veterans.
Opponents of the study said
it is outrageous that the state
provides the lower tuition rate
for some illegal immigrants
but not to veterans. They not-
ed that sending the bill to a
study committee is the same
as killing it.
The roll call vote is on the
amendment to study, rather
than vote directly on the low-
er tuition rates for veterans.
(A
“Yes” vote is for the study. A “No”
vote is against it.)
Rep. Stephan Hay
Was not yet elected
Rep. Bradley Jones
No
Rep. Theodore Speliotis
Yes
Rep. Thomas Walsh
Was not yet elected
STUDY REQUIRING THAT
SPONSOR PAY FOR IMMI-
GRANTS (H 3400)
House 128-29, approved a
Democratic leadership-spon-
sored amendment prohibiting
a proposal requiring sponsors
of immigrants who have green
cards (lawful permanent resi-
dents) to reimburse the state
for any means-tested state as-
sistance the immigrant receives
from taking effect, until after
the state conducts a study of
the current systemand receives
any federal waivers necessary.
Some supporters of the study
said theHouse shouldgetmore
information prior to voting
on this. Others said they sim-
ply oppose the mean-spirit-
ed measure meant to hurt le-
gal residents who through no
fault of their own need some
assistance. They noted that the
state shouldn’t bepunishingel-
igible individualswho have be-
come estrangedor disconnect-
ed from their sponsor.
Opponentsof thedelayques-
tioned why the state is provid-
ing these benefits when each
green card holder is required
by law to have a sponsor who
has promised to be financial-
ly responsible for that person.
The roll call vote is on the
amendment to study, rath-
er than vote directly on re-
quiring sponsors to reimburse
the state.
(A “Yes” vote is for the
study. A “No” vote is against the
study.)
Rep. Stephan Hay
Was not yet elected
Rep. Bradley Jones
No
Rep. Theodore Speliotis
Yes
Rep. Thomas Walsh
Was not yet elected
Beacon Hill
Roll Call
By Bob Katzen
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