The New Jersey State Senate voted to pass the DREAM Act today, which will allow undocumented students to pay in-state college tuition. Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-29) told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that she is overjoyed with the final vote.
“We did have some bipartisan support in this effort,” said Ruiz. “It is a cornerstone of what I have been committed to here. When we talk about one of the greatest equalizing factors that we have in this country, in this state, we point to our public school settings and certainly our higher institutions.”
Ruiz also said that with the vote begins to unveil a truth about the state.
“Most importantly to get to the finish line that will make this Garden State a better place to work, live and play,” said Ruiz.
Ruiz says the passage of the DREAM Act will help undocumented students and allow them to have the same opportunity as their counterparts in the classroom.
Now that the Senate has approved affordable tuition for undocumented students, the New Jersey State Assembly will now take up the measure. Ruiz has heard that the current Assembly speaker and the elected Assembly speaker have both stated that the vote on the DREAM Act is on the priority list of the Assembly for this session.
Prior to the gubernatorial election, Gov. Chris Christie expressed a willingness to support the DREAM Act. Ruiz says that she is not certain of how the governor feels about every point in the legislation, but until the DREAM Act gets a signature from Christie, Ruiz says there’s still work to do.
When it comes to working with the governor to get the bill passed, Ruiz says there has to be collaboration at the policy-making decision table that can create compromise to ensure success for New Jersey residents.