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Officials contest governor's immigrant tuition discussions

January 16, 2011
WALES — Members of the Board of Selectmen strongly oppose Gov. Deval Patrick's discussions about potential legislation that would give illegal immigrants in Massachusetts a taxpayer subsidized in-state tuition rate to public colleges.

At a recent meeting, the board rendered a unanimous decision to write a letter highlighting their concerns to Sen. Stephen Brewer and State Rep. Todd Smola. The letter was drafted by Board of Selectmen Chairman Michael Valanzola on Jan. 10.

"We took exception to the governor's discussions about this issue since municipalities in the state have endured multiple cuts in state aid," Valanzola said.

The letter draws attention to the fact that Massachusetts is facing a major structural deficit next fiscal year and towns are struggling to deal with dwindling resources. Selectmen believe Patrick's proposal to pass this legislation would be detrimental to taxpayers who are under pressure to make ends meet.

"In the town of Wales, we implemented a wage reduction, held the line on increases to all budget items, and found a way to make up for the Community Policing Grant that has been cut by the state," the letter read.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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