The Kansas City Star (July 23, 2015) reports that despite the passage of the higher education funding authorization, HB 3 on May 11, the law will not prevent the Missouri Department of Higher Education from allocating A+ scholarships to illegal alien immigrant students.
Higher Education Commissioner David Russell sent a memo to college presidents, chancellors, and directors stating that the language in the Preamble of HB 3 has no legal force or effect. The preamble of HB. 3 explicitly states “that no funds shall be expended at public institutions of higher education that offer a tuition rate to any student with an unlawful immigration status in the United States that is less than the tuition rate charged to international students, and further provided that no scholarship funds shall be expended on behalf of students with an unlawful immigration status in the United States.”
HB 3 is a general higher education appropriations act, and prior legislative efforts to prohibit in-state tuition and scholarship availability to students with unlawful status did not pass this year. The preamble language was added by Representative Scott Fitzpatrick who stated “I was not trying to ban them (DACA students) from attending college….I didn’t want their education to be subsidized by Missouri taxpayers.”