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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

 10:50 PM 

Assembly hits roadblock on Dem amendment on college grants

A bill that would allow non-consecutive enrollment for recipients of talent incentive grants for students attending college prompted debate over an amendment regarding minorities was introduced by Dem. Rep. Peggy Krusick.

The amendment would prohibit the Higher Educational Aids Board from writing a rule that makes membership in a minority group a criterion for the grant, which can range between $600 and $1,800 per year. The grant is intended to aid students who have been "educationally disadvantaged" and have demonstrated need.

Democrats took issue with an amendment to the bill that would not allow the board to make membership of a minority group a criteria for the grants.

“This is very much not where you want to be as a body," Rep. Louis Molepske Jr. "Specifically, were going to take a vote on 'if you’re a minority…tough luck.'”

Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, said the amendment was micromanaging of the board and “blatantly discriminatory.” Pocan said the amendment would push debate into late hours of the night.

Republicans, however, said if the grants are based on economic need, there's no reason to consider whether a student is a minority.

“I think it’s a reasonable idea,” said Rep. Robin Vos. “All we are saying is that race should not be a factor, it should be based upon socio-economic status.”

Update: After a 15 minute break to stand informal, Democrats have spent nearly an hour and a half attacking the amendment.


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