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Legislation to prohibit illegal immigrants from receiving a break on college tuition fees died this week in an Assembly committee.

Assembly Bill 63 by Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, was rejected Tuesday by the Higher Education Committee, receiving only two votes of support from the nine-member committee.

The bill targeted a select group of illegal immigrants entitled under a state law passed in 2001 to pay in-state resident tuition rates at California state and community colleges. The University of California complies voluntarily.

Specifically, the lower rate applies to illegal immigrants who attend a California high school for three years or more, graduate or attain an equivalent degree, and are committed to become U.S. citizens if given the chance.

AB 63 also would have allowed members of the Armed Forces who are college students to maintain their residency status for tuition purposes if they are transferred out of state. The bill would have applied to service members' dependents as well.

The higher education committee, though it killed AB 63, kept alive the provisions for transferred military personnel by unanimously passing separate legislation, Assembly Bill 853, by Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield, D-Woodland Hills.



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