MADISON (WKOW) — Assembly Republican veterans are speaking out against a proposal in Gov. Tony Evers’ budget that they say would reduce tuition for non U.S. citizens.
But Democrats say it is an inaccurate comparison.
Under the Evers proposal, college applicants who are undocumented in the U.S. could apply in-state tuition if they’ve attended a Wisconsin high school and been “present” in the state for three years.
In contrast, Republicans say, veterans in the state must prove residency of five years and prove military service and maintain their grades in order to receive their tuition paid for under the Wisconsin GI Bill.
The Republican representatives are asking the members of the Joint Committee on Finance to remove the item from the budget.
“This is a stunning display of the displaced priorities Governor Evers used to develop his
budget,” said Rep. Ken Skowronski (R-Franklin).
However, Democratic lawmakers say the comparison is apples to oranges.
“Comparing these two residency requirements is like comparing apple and oranges,” Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa, D-Milwaukee, said in a news release. “Republicans are hoping that xenophobic attacks will obscure the facts.”
Under current law, UW System Board of Regents must reimburse 100% of tuition and fees under the federal G.I. bill for veterans. To be eligible a student must live in the state for at least five consecutive years.
Under Gov. Ever’s budget proposal, undocumented students would be able to apply for in-state tuition but still pay the University. They also would have to follow requirements such as being present in the state for three years following the first day of attending in-state high school.