House GOP staunchly opposes bill lowering residency requirements for student trustees
House Republicans unanimously opposed a bill recently that lessens the residency requirements for student trustees at Illinois universities.
Senate Bill 172, sponsored by Rep. Aaron M. Ortiz (D-Chicago) in the House, amends the University of Illinois Trustees Act and changes the residency requirements so that students seeking to become trustees must provide evidence of their Illinois domicile for the previous six months and either a valid Illinois driver's license, Illinois Identification Card or valid Illinois voter registration card, whereas the law previously required both a driver's license and state ID card in addition to the proof of domicile.
Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee) questioned why they were changing it to two requirements instead of three and whether it would allow people who were not citizens to become trustees.
"This is going to be opening the door to giving voting rights to people who are not citizens of the United States," Skillicorn said. "We need to be careful with that. They will be able to vote on spending millions of dollars for the university. This is the doorway to opening up illegals voting in Illinois."
Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) also spoke in opposition of the bill.
"This is a bad bill," Caulkins said. "It opens up the door for non-citizens to be able to spend money appropriated for universities and allows non-citizens to hire and fire the university president and who gets tenure. This is not the way we should be doing business."
Rep. Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport) also voted against the bill, but it passed with 68 Yes votes and 44 No votes.
"I think this is yet another attempt to extend voting rights to non-citizens," Chesney said.