Lubbock, TX (KCBD) – The war of words in the run-off race for state representative district 83 escalated Monday. Charles Perry is accusing Delwin Jones of supporting an in-state education break for illegal immigrants, and Jones sets his record straight and says that is a lie. Both candidates stand by their positions. A four page bill passed with overwhelming support in 2001 is creating a war of words just days before one of the two will be elected.
"I'm mad because my opponent has sent out press releases that are blatant lies about a particular bill," said Rep. Jones who stands by his decision to support a bill giving tuition breaks to illegal immigrants. "He says Delwin Jones voted to give money to people who are here illegally this is a straight out lie. This bill did not authorize money for scholarships for anyone," said Rep. Jones who says the words scholarships and any mention of $33 million is nowhere in the bill or the fiscal note attached prepared by the state budget board.
Jones says the bill sets strict guidelines for students who must graduate from a Texas high school or earn a GED in state. Students must also live in Texas for three years before graduation and file paperwork to become a U.S. citizen. The veteran politician wants an apology from his opponent, Charles Perry, who says he has nothing to be sorry for. "As far as this being a lie, I've got documentation and he can look at the bill. The bill is not an appropriations bill and it doesn't affect dollars but it goes into action. It's a little bit of a politician talking, but the straight facts are it cost us $34 million in in-state tuition dollars that weren't being paid after the law went into effect," said Perry who is looking to unseat Jones. Perry points to research and a current lawsuit filed by the Immigration Reform Coalition of Texas last December regarding HB 1403.
The ethics complaint filed against Perry was rejected. In a letter dated April 1, 2010, the Texas Ethics Commission writes Lubbock attorney Chris Ritter did not file the complaint properly but the complaint may be re-submitted within 21 days.
Early voting runs through Friday. Election day is April 13th.
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