By Associated Press • 

Senate OKs bill giving state aid to students here illegally


SALEM — Students living in the United States without legal permission could qualify for state financial aid under a measure that has cleared the Oregon Senate.

Lawmakers decided two years ago to let Oregon high school graduates pay in-state tuition at public universities regardless of their immigration status, but only legal residents can qualify for state-funded scholarships.

Portland Democratic Sen. Michael Dembrow said Thursday that the bill clears a path to college for students who are already part of the state's education system.

Opponents have argued the grant program is already underfunded and doesn't meet the needs of resident students.

Senate lawmakers approved the measure 17-11. It now goes to the House.

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