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Wisconsin Legislators Push In-State Tuition for Tribes

Rep. Nick Milroy (D-South Range) is a sponsor of a bill to grant in-state UW tuition to American Indians nationwide. Rep. Nick Milroy (D-South Range) is a sponsor of a bill to grant in-state UW tuition to American Indians nationwide. |  Photo: Wisconsin Blue Book

Created: September 20, 2019 02:25 PM

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A group of lawmakers is introducing a bill that would allow American Indians from anywhere in the United States to pay resident tuition at University of Wisconsin System schools.

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The bill's chief sponsors, Democratic state Rep. Nick Milroy, Republican Rep. Jeff Mursau and Democratic Sen. Jeff Smith, say they hope the bill will encourage more American Indians to attend college in Wisconsin, increase campus diversity and serve as a step toward reconciliation after so many tribes lost their land in the 19th century.

"Throughout the 19th century, individuals from many of these tribal nations were forcibly removed or coerced to leave their homelands by the United States government," Milroy said in a news release. "Many of these ancestral tribal members originally called Wisconsin home. Granting in-state tuition will remove a barrier to higher education, increase diversity on our campuses, and will be a step toward reconciliation."

The bill's chances are murky. Aides for Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald didn't immediately respond to emails inquiring about the measure's prospects.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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