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THE MALDEN ADVOCATE
- Friday, March 17, 2017
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THE HOUSE AND SENATE.
There were no roll calls in the
House or Senate last week. The
debate over immigration con-
tinues to dominate the news
following President Trump’s
newversion of an executive or-
der 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 re-
sults.
The first three House roll call
votes involve successful at-
tempts by Speaker Robert De-
Leo and his Democratic lead-
ership team to prevent Dem-
ocratic members from having
to vote directly against sever-
al Republican proposals to re-
strict access to state fundingby
illegal immigrants. The Demo-
crats, with a current 125 to 35
membership advantage, con-
trol 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 vote on 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 and de-
lay the ban is voteduponfirst. If
it passes, which it always does,
no other amendments can be
introduced and the original
proposal that would simply
prohibit the lower tuition rate
is dead without ever having a
direct vote on it. Republicans
say that the studies are a sham
because they are never done.
This is all pre-planned by the
Democratic leadership. The
presiding officer at the podium
calls upona representativewho
is loyal tohimand thatmember
proposes the study. Even if a
Republican member is waving
his or her hands and shouting
to be recognized, he or she will
not be called upon because it
is assumedhe or shewouldnot
propose the study.
GOP members have always
beenwary of this ploy andhave
spoken out strongly against
it. They urged the Democrat-
ic leadership to stop purpose-
ly trying to confuse the voters
and instead allow a vote di-
rectly on the issue itself, not a
study of it.
The Democrats fall into four
categories. Some Democrats
favor the ban and vote with
the Republicans against the
study. Others say they are tru-
ly open to the ban but vote for
the study because they want
to find out the cost first. A
third group opposes the ban
but also opposes the study be-
cause they feel there should be
a direct vote on the proposal.
Most Democrats who vote for
the study acknowledge that
it is designed to protect them
by preventing them from be-
ing 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.
Suppor ters of the study
said many of these students
were babies when they were
brought here by their parents
andhadno choice about enter-
ing the country illegally. They
noted some hardworking stu-
dents are currently required to
pay out-of-state tuition rates
that are up 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 il-
legal immigrants. (A "Yes" vote
is for the study. A "No" vote is
against the study.)
Rep. Paul Donato
Yes
Rep. Steven Ultrino
Was not yet elected
STUDY LOWER TUITION
RATES FOR VETERANS (H
4000)
House 107-42, approved a
Democratic leadership-spon-
Beacon Hill
Roll Call
By Bob Katzen