Compromise Reportedly Developing Contingent Upon Dem Acceptance of Conditional Veto Terms
Updated 12:01 p.m.
As predicted, Save Jerseyans, New Jersey Democrats are forcing Governor Chris Christie’s hand on New Jersey’s latest version of the DREAM Act.
The Tuition Equality Act legislation (A-4225/S-2749) is expected to pass a full Assembly floor vote later today (Thursday), sending the controversial measure directly to the Governor’s desk at a time when the presidential aspirant is touting his ability to win Hispanic votes in “blue” territory, going so far as to host his inaugural ball on Ellis Island.
Sources confirm that it is likely to earn a conditional veto, likely with an accompanying message: “no me gusta” financial aid, too. NJ.com further reports, however, that the Governor will sign a bill without financial aid provisions if the legislature accepts the conditions attached to his veto, something which they’re apparently willing to do.
Christie has repeatedly said since Election Day that he would not sign off on a bill that included financial aid language in addition to access for in-state tuition rates.
“Send me a clean bill, I’ll sign it,” Christie declared at last Friday’s presser. “Send me a bill that lards new spending on there and overreaches, then we’re going to have an objection and we’re going to have to figure out a way to work it out.”
The Governor opposed any version of the DREAM Act as late as 2011, telling attendees at a Sayreville town hall meeting that “I can’t favor that, because we need to have an immigration system where people follow the rules, and I can’t in a difficult time of budget constraints support the idea that we should be giving money in that regard to people who haven’t followed the rules, and take that money from people who have.” The Governor later reversed himself during the late stages of the 2013 Election.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking anyone in Trenton is about to lose sleep over it. The only upset parties are going to be all of the young Hispanic men and women whom the Dems duped into parading around with signs who wanted access to financial aid. Both parties are going to walk away from this fight with something to smile about.
Governor Christie gets a welcome chance to hold himself out as a fiscal conservative who isn’t pro “amnesty” as some of his conservative detractors allege while still getting to hang his hat on a watered-down version. Democrats, for their part, will feel as if they’ve successfully driven a stake through the heart of Christie’s chances at winning strong Hispanic support for 2016 by playing up the financial aid angle down the road while simultaneously giving their base something to cheer about.
Ascertaining who really got this best of this high-stakes political skirmish may take some time.