After clearing a budget committee vote Thursday, New Jersey’s bill to grant tuition equity to undocumented students is now headed to the Assembly floor. Committee members advanced the bill in an eight to four vote despite Gov. Chris Christie’s recent refusal to sign the bill.
The vote was split along party lines–with Democrats backing the bill and the committee’s Republicans opposing. With its approval, the Assembly accepted a provision which would allow undocumented students to be eligible for state financial aid, the Burlington County Times reported. The Assembly bill is now aligned with a version passed by the New Jersey state Senate in November.
New Jersey’s tuition equity bill is modeled on laws passed by more than a dozen states which allow in-state residents, regardless of their immigration status, to pay in-state college tuition. If passed, the Garden State would become the fourth state after Texas, California and New Mexico to allow undocumented students to access state financial aid.