Undocumented student tuition bill passes House, heads to Gov.

DENVER — On any other day, the final passage of a bill to give undocumented students in-state college tuition would be the big story at the Capitol.

On Friday, with the attention of the state and the nation focused on the debate of seven Democratic gun control bills on the floor of the state Senate, the final votes on Senate Bill 33 came in the House like the proverbial tree falling in the forest.

But the 40-25 vote in favor of the ASSET bill, ending a legislative fight that’s lasted for over a decade, marked a monumental occasion all the same.

“It’s a very proud moment for me,” said the sponsor, Rep. Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, after the vote. “I’m thrilled for the hundreds of students who will benefit from this bill, who are Coloradans in every way except for a piece of paper. We just gave them a shot at the American Dream.”

Three Republicans joined Democrats in support of the bill, which is now on its way to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk.

Rep. Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen, Rep. Kevin Priola, R-Henderson and Rep. Clarice Navarro, R-Pueblo, all voted in favor of S.B. 33, along with all 37 House Democrats.

Although the historic House vote was overshadowed Friday, advocates for the bill acknowledge that they are planning a large signing ceremony in the coming weeks.