Arizona lawmaker introduces new legislation to target lawbreaking universities, colleges

PHOENIX — A Republican state lawmaker said Thursday he will target Arizona colleges and universities that violate state law with a new proposal that would penalize them with the loss of 10 percent of their state funding. Rep. Bob Thorpe of Flagstaff said his legislation, House Bill 2119, was prompted by decisions by community colleges and the state university system to offer lower in-state tuition to immigrants granted deferred deportation under an Obama Administration policy. Although Thorpe said he’s targeting colleges, the proposed legislation makes no distinction between K-12 schools and higher learning institutions, leaving them at risk too. A judge has held that deferred deportation recipients qualify for lower tuition, although the state is appealing. Thorpe is also proposing legislation, H.B. 2120, to expand a state ban on ethnic studies programs in K-12 schools to colleges and universities. Violations also come with a 10 percent funding penalty. Democratic Sen. Martin Quezada calls both proposals “scary stuff.” The proposal comes as a new state law to withhold all state funding from cities that violate state laws is being challenged in the Arizona Supreme Court. Thorpe...

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