Topeka Gov. Sam Brownback indicated Wednesday he wasn’t supportive of a bill the House has passed that would repeal in-state tuition for some undocumented students.
Brownback, a Republican, said he was watching the legislative process on House Bill 2006 and wanted to have discussions about the issue with interested parties.
But, he added, “What I’m advocating for is things I put in the Road Map.” During his campaign, Brownback proposed a “Road Map for Kansas” that focused on the economy and education.
The House on Tuesday approved the repeal on a 72-50 vote with only Republican support. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Under current law, students are considered Kansas residents eligible for in-state tuition if they graduated from a Kansas high school or received a GED, have lived in the state for three years and pledge to become citizens.
Kansas Board of Regents said 413 students enrolled under the law last fall at state universities, community colleges and technical colleges.
The difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition is significant. A first-time freshman who entered KU last fall paid $3,938 per semester for tuition if they were considered Kansas residents. A nonresident paid $10,340.
Supporters of the current law say it provides an opportunity for students who aren’t citizens but whose parents brought them as children to Kansas. But the law’s opponents say it provides an incentive for illegal immigrants.
Brownback’s comments on the bill came after he spoke to about 80 people during Hispanic Day on the Hill.
During his speech, Brownback said the state faces many tough issues. A former U.S. Senator, Brownback said Washington politics focused on fighting, while in Kansas, “it’s about identifying a problem and solving it.”