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NEWS
By ANDREW SCHOTZ | andrews@herald-mail.com | August 7, 2011
The group that successfully petitioned for a state referendum on tuition breaks for illegal immigrants spent about $9,500 on its effort, according to finance reports. The group - known as MdPetitions.com, which is the URL for its website - took in about $16,200 and ended up with a surplus of about $11,600. Under state law, the group was required to file the campaign finance reports - one for each round of signatures it submitted. A new law in Maryland, granting in-state college tuition to illegal immigrants, was scheduled to go into effect July 1. However, the successful petition drive put the law on hold until voters decide on the issue in the 2012 general election.
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NEWS
By ANDREW SCHOTZ | andrews@herald-mail.com | July 22, 2011
Voters in 2012 will decide whether a new law benefiting illegal immigrants attending Maryland colleges will stand, after elections officials ruled that a petition drive had nearly twice as many valid signatures as needed to put the question on the ballot. The Maryland State Board of Elections told petition drive organizer Del. Neil Parrott in a letter on Friday that 108,923 signatures were accepted, well over the 55,736 that were required. Another 23,148 signatures were rejected, for an approval rate of about 82 percent.
EDUCATION
By MAEGAN CLEARWOOD | maegan.clearwood@herald-mail.com | July 9, 2011
It's difficult to estimate the true cost of a college education because the final figure amounts to more than the cost of taking classes. With tuition and mandatory fees, room and board, transportation, books and other expenses, many students find themselves facing hefty price tags. University System of Maryland schools this year are increasing tuition by 3 percent for the second consecutive year. According to Mike Lurie, media relations manager for USM, an agreement between Gov. Martin O'Malley, the Maryland General Assembly and USM froze tuition rates from 2005 through 2009.
NEWS
By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com | June 30, 2011
An encouraged Del. Neil Parrott was in the Maryland Secretary of State’s office in Annapolis on Thursday night, where organizers of a petition drive challenging in-state tuition for illegal immigrants were about to deliver 74,980 signatures. That would put the total number of signatures on a petition seeking a voter referendum on the law at more than 100,000, according to Parrott, R-Washington. Parrott said he and other organizers were still organizing names in the secretary of state’s office at 9:30 p.m.  He said they planned to turn over the petition signatures by 10 p.m. Parrott said he did not have a feel for how many might be valid, but he felt it was a “good percentage.” Signatures in the petition drive had to be handed in by midnight.
OPINION
By TAMELA BAKER | June 8, 2011
Nobody asked whether I wanted to be born in Cleveland. Nor was I consulted about whether I wanted to grow up in West Virginia’s “other” panhandle. I would have asked for a place with a beach. It’s a rare child indeed who gets to choose where he or she grows up. And none of us gets to choose where we’re born. For what it’s worth, had I been a member of the General Assembly, I would have voted against the Maryland DREAM Act, which permits some undocumented immigrants who went to high school in Maryland to pay in-state tuition at state-supported colleges.
OPINION
June 3, 2011
Parrott distorts the truth for political gain To the editor: In recent days, there were two items in this newspaper related to the state's decision to give equal college tuition benefits to children of all tax-paying families in the state, including illegal immigrants. One announced the number of signatures that had been gathered by Del. Neil Parrott for the recall of the new state law that offered those benefits. The second appeared the next day in "Mail Call," where a caller equated illegal immigrants who are fresh over the border with those who are to be eligible for in-state tuition at Maryland colleges.
NEWS
June 3, 2011
The first review of petitions submitted this week opposing in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants shows a high rate of valid signatures. A Maryland State Board of Elections summary posted Friday said 4,496 signatures were valid in the petitions reviewed so far and 612 signatures were invalid — an initial success rate of 88 percent. At that pace, the group behind the petitions appears likely to hit its goal of placing the issue on the 2012 general election ballot and possibly overturning the new law. The group had to submit 18,579 valid signatures from registered voters by May 31 and another 37,157 by June 30. The group, led by Del. Neil C. Parrott, R-Washington, and Del. Patrick L. McDonough, R-Baltimore/Harford, said Wednesday that it turned in 62,496 signatures on Tuesday night, a number it also claimed on documents filed with the state.
NEWS
By ANDREW SCHOTZ | andrews@herald-mail.com | June 1, 2011
After predicting about 40,000 signatures, organizers of a petition drive opposing in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants turned in more than 62,000 on Tuesday night. Tuesday was the deadline for the group to submit at least 18,579 valid signatures in their attempt to force a referendum on the new law in the 2012 general election. The second and final deadline is June 30, when they must have at least 55,736 valid signatures. Organizers are trying to gather many more signatures than the minimums, expecting that some will be invalidated.
NEWS
By ANDREW SCHOTZ | andrews@herald-mail.com | May 31, 2011
An organizer of a petition drive opposing in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants said his group expected to file enough signatures Tuesday night to meet a preliminary hurdle to take the issue to voters. Del. Neil C. Parrott, R-Washington, who is heading the effort, said the group planned to submit petitions containing about 40,000 signatures. The group needed to have at least 18,579 signatures by Tuesday, the first of two deadlines for forcing a referendum in the 2012 general election.
NEWS
By ANDREW SCHOTZ | andrews@herald-mail.com | May 24, 2011
A Maryland delegate hoping to overturn a new law granting in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants said Tuesday his group has collected more than the minimum number of signatures for an early deadline. Del. Neil C. Parrott, R-Washington, said more than 25,000 signatures have been collected statewide, more than the required minimum of 18,579. However, the group is pressing on toward its goal of 35,000 signatures by May 31 as a safeguard against signatures being rejected as invalid or procedurally incorrect, Parrott said.
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