Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, took the back mic on the floor of the Texas House on Thursday to blame Speaker Joe Straus for not referring to committee his bill to end the practice of offering in-state tuition to Texas high school graduates who are not in the U.S. legally.
Stickland complained that his House Bill 209 has remained in legislative limbo as other bills filed the same day have moved forward.
(It probably won’t be the last time this session that Stickland will try to make a ruckus from the floor.)
After his griping from the floor, Stickland left with a member of Straus’ staff.
Stickland got the assurance he sought, saying later that he believes his bill will get a hearing.
“I think they know that I won’t back down,” he said and added that he would return to the mic every day until his bill moves.
In an interview with Jim Henson, director of UT’s Politics Project, Straus said earlier this month that he holds similar views on in-state tuition as former Gov. Rick Perry, who in 2001 signed a law to allow students residing in Texas without legal authorization to pay in-state tuition for public colleges and universities.
“These are young people who played by the rules, who qualified for admission in our colleges, have gone to our public schools,” Straus said during the interview with Henson, as reported in the Statesman. “And personally, I can think of a lot worse things these people can be doing with their lives than pursuing higher education and becoming engaged citizens in our economy and paying taxes.”