CO immigrant tuition bill gets first vote

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DENVER (AP) -- Democratic senators are expected to move forward with legislation to lower tuition for illegal immigrants who graduate from Colorado high schools.

A senate committee will hear testimony on the bill Thursday, and Democrats have the votes to give the legislation initial approval. The whole senate will vote later on the bill.

The proposal would make some illegal immigrants eligible for in-state tuition. Currently, they pay an out-of-state rate that's more than three time higher than the resident rate.

Republicans say the legislation raises an issue of fairness because illegal immigrants would be receiving a benefit that other students don't receive. But Democrats say the state has invested in the immigrants' education in state public schools and they should have the chance to attend college at an affordable rate.