Day 24: Trayvon Martin rally
Tuesday 02/26/2013. Twenty-Fourth day of the Georgia Legislative Session. Today was the rally remembering Trayvon Martin organized by Senator VincentFort (D-Atlanta). It was a great event, and it counted with a wide array of participants going from Legislators to students from the University Center.
Regarding legislation, I got the chance to see some bills presented in committee. Couple of bills that caught my attention were HB324 by Representative Matt Dollar (R-Marietta) and SB122 by Senator Hunter Hill (R-Atlanta).
I reported HB324 when it was introduced, given that it was also cosponsored by Rep. Matt Ramsey (R-Peachtree City), author of the HB87 of 2011, and what I heard regarding Rep. Dollar. After inquiring around about it, the current version of this only would reduce the paperwork for financial aid, which is not bad. It is worth to mention that the Board of Regents had to create a whole new system to check this in 2010 to address the fear of some legislators (among them Matt Ramsey) of undocumented students “sucking tax payers’ dollars”, despite the fact that undocumented students are not eligible to any kind of financial aid or even in-state tuition since 2007. Given that, undocumented students (the very few that still are in the University System of Georgia) pay out of pocket money for their out-of-state tuition, which covers fully and more the expenses of their education. It was interesting to observe Rep. Dollar and Rep. Ramsey talking about this bill, and yet looking for a way to avoid mentioning where this whole paperwork mess came from. Keeping an eye on HB324, you never know when anybody would try to add something to it, and can make it go from harmless to something totally different.
SB122 proposes to give a temporal license to people that are in theprocess to renew their immigration paperwork. No bad neither. On the presentation of the bill, the discussion focused on the fee that this temporal license would cost.
I am happy the way this session is addressing immigration. Hope stays like that until the end. Keep you posted.