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State House Passes States Version of the Dream Act

The 2014 Washington State Legislative Session began this morning  and it didn’t take the House long to pass its’ first bill.

Minutes after restarting a 60-day session on Monday, lawmakers in the House began debate on a bill that would expand state financial aid to students who are living illegally in the country. The House approved the measure by a 71-23 margin and sent it to the Senate, where the proposal languished last year.

The House and Senate have different ideas on what issues will be addressed this year. For the first time in several years, lawmakers aren’t dealing with a budget shortfall, and it’s unclear whether they will approve any revisions to the existing state budget. Leaders in the House and Senate have been exploring the possibility of raising the state’s gas tax to pay for transportation projects, but that plan also has an uncertain fate.

Local Republicans were split on the vote. 15th District Representative Dave Taylor and 13th District Representative Matt Manweller voted against the bill. 13th District Representative Judy Warnick, Norm Johnson and Charles Ross from the 14th District  and 15th District Representative Bruce Chandler voted for the bill.

It now goes to the Senate where it bogged down last year.

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