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Maryland in-state tuition referendum supporters submit first batch of signatures (Updated)

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June 2, 2011


By Bailey Ludlam

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland: A referendum against a 2011 approved law to offer in-state tuition to illegal immigrants is one step closer to the 2012 statewide ballot.

A third of the required petition signatures were submitted on May 31, 2011. Supporters of the referendum said they had more than sufficient signatures. "We have over 40,000," said Del. Neil C. Parrott, the Washington County official who is leading the petition drive.[1]

In order to qualify a veto referendum on the statewide ballot, a minimum of 55,736 valid petition signatures must be submitted by June 30, 2011. The state's distribution law requires that no more than half of the required signatures be from any one county or the City of Baltimore.

The legislation in question, Senate Bill 167, would allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state or in-county tuition at Maryland colleges. In order to qualify students are required to have attended a Maryland high school for three years, as well as prove that their parents or themselves paid taxes. Initially, students that qualify would have to attend a community college. However, after two years, the students can transfer to a four year university. According to reports, the legislation is estimated to cost $3.5 million by 2016.[2][3]

Update: On June 7, 2011 the state Board of Elections announced that they validated 21,919 of the first batch of signatures the group submitted.[4]

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