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Friday, February 18, 2011

Two Bipartisan Bills, Tuition Equity and Driver's License Access, introduced in OR State Legislature

February 18, 2011

Francisco Lopez, Executive Director: (503) 269-5694
Erik Sorensen, Communications Director: (503) 488-0263

Two Bipartisan Bills, Tuition Equity and Driver's License Access, introduced in OR State Legislature

Salem, Ore.--This week was a very busy one for CAUSA, Oregon's Immigrant Rights Coalition. Two important bipartisan bills were introduced in the Oregon State Legislature and we held our briefing at the Oregon State Capitol on our 2011 Latino Legislative Agenda.

On Monday, CAUSA participated in a Press Conference with the Oregon Student Association (OSA) and several other individuals and organizations, as Representative Michael Dembrow (D-Portland) and Senator Frank Morse (R-Albany) announced their co-sponsorship of the bipartisan Tuition Equity Bill, SB742.

The bill will ensure that every Oregon student has fair access to quality and affordable higher education and will make it possible for every student regardless of their status, to be able to pay in-state tuition. Besides capitalizing on the investment in Oregon's K-12 students, it would boost the education level of Oregon's workforce and bring in more tax dollars to the state's general fund.

Cosponsors of Senate Bill 742 include Oregon State Senators David Nelson (R-Pendleton), Frank Morse (R-Albany), Suzanne Bonamici (D-Portland/Beaverton), Jackie Dingfelder (D-Portland), Rod Monroe (D-Portland), Chris Edwards (D- Eugene, Santa Clara, and Junction City), Chuck Thomsen (R-Hood River) and Chip Shields (D-Portland), and Oregon State Representatives Michael Dembrow (D-Portland), Mark Johnson (R-Hood River), Bob Jenson (R-Pendleton), Peter Buckley (D-Ashland), Sara Gelser (D-Corvallis), Betty Komp (D-Woodburn) and Chris Harker (D-Beaverton).

On Tuesday, CAUSA presented it's 2011 Latino Legislative Agenda in a briefing at the Oregon State Capitol. Those attending and participating in the briefing included Oregon State legislators from both sides of the aisle, members of Oregon’s government, coalition partners and leaders from the community. Issues discussed included affordable housing, education, public safety, health, and jobs and the economy. For more information on the briefing, link here.

Yesterday, State Senator Chip Shields (D-Portland) joined with Representatives Bob Jenson (R-Pendleton), Ben Cannon (D-Portland) and Tina Kotek (D-Portland) to introduce Senate Bill 845 – the Oregon Driver License Access Act. The bipartisan bill will restore access to driver’s licenses to all Oregonian residents, regardless of their status.

Both of these important pieces of legislation--SB742 and SB845--are a good first step in ensuring that all Oregonians will be able to lead safe and productive lives while being the best contributors to Oregon and nation as they can be.


CAUSA, Oregon's Immigrant Rights Coalition, is the largest Latino and Latina civil and human rights and advocacy organization in the Pacific Northwest. We work to defend and advance immigrant rights through coordination with local, state, and national coalitions and allies. For more information, visit


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