- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 21, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee residents who are authorized to be in the United States would be eligible for in-state tuition under legislation that has advanced to the House floor.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Mark White of Memphis was approved on a voice vote in the House Finance Committee Tuesday evening. The companion bill passed the Senate 21-12.

Under the proposal, students considered lawfully present in the U.S. through a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals would qualify for in-state tuition. Such students now pay nearly three times as much for higher education - the out-of-state rate - even if they’ve lived in Tennessee for most of their lives.

Supporters of the legislation say it’s an opportunity for those students to not just further their education, but contribute to Tennessee’s economy.

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