As Senator Johnston’s ASSET Bill works its way through the House, the bills co-sponsors today announced the support of several prominent Colorado Republicans and the endorsement of two major business organizations, Colorado Succeeds and the Colorado Forum.
In three separate letters, members of the Republican Party and Colorado business leaders said they support SB 12-015 and urge a “yes” vote. These groups join every state college and university in their endorsement of the bill.
The letter signed by twelve prominent Colorado Republicans — including Rockies owner Dick Monfort, Robinson Dairy CEO Dick Robinson, and former Chairman of the Colorado Republican Party Bob Martinez — wrote that providing standard-rate tuition to undocumented students is in line with Republican Party principles of “individual empowerment,” and that ASSET will attract new businesses to Colorado and provide the state with more revenue:
We do not ask that anyone get subsidized tuition. We do seek to remove unnecessary obstacles to individual opportunity. One of those obstacles is the exorbitant rate of tuition at our institutions of higher education for out-of-state students. In particular, charging these unjustifiably high rates for individuals who through residency in Colorado are in fact taxpayers makes no economic sense and is just needlessly punitive.
Colorado Succeeds, a non-profit, non-partisan coalition of education reform-minded business leaders, wrote in its letter of support:
As the business voice for education reform, we support this bill based on its alignment with our vision that “every student has access to a high performing school and graduates with the knowledge, skills and behaviors necessary to compete in a competitive global economy.” …
[S]tudents afforded an opportunity to pursue higher education through SB12-015 will be better prepared to enter our workforce and contribute to society with the skills and mindsets necessary to make significant contributions.
The Colorado Forum wrote that 100 percent of its membership of CEOs endorsed the bill, saying it would benefit Colorado’s businesses and universities, increase state revenue, and offer a good return on investment:
We believe the ASSET Bill is good for Colorado. We need to grow our educated workforce. An increase in Colorado’s educated workforce would attract businesses to Colorado and encourage our existing businesses to stay, regardless of whether our graduates are documented or undocumented.