OLYMPIA, WA - Gov. Jay Inslee has signed into law a measure that expands state college financial aid to students in the country without legal status.
In a highly divided Legislature, passage of the bill represents a big win for immigrant advocates. It's also the first bill to become law this session.
The Senate and House versions of the bill were almost identical but had different names. The House version didn't identify a funding source, but the Senate proposal allocates $5 million through June 30, 2015, from the general fund to pay for the financial aid payments under the state need-grant program.
The bill requires students to have received a high school diploma or equivalent in Washington state and to have lived in the state for at least three years before getting aid.