Maryland Dream Act referendum debated

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Attorneys for an immigrant advocacy group are trying to convince Maryland's highest court that a new law to provide college tuition breaks to illegal immigrants doesn't belong on the ballot.

Opponents of the law have organized a petition drive to put the question before voters in November.

But Joseph E. Sandler, a lawyer for Casa de Maryland, told the Maryland Court of Appeals on Tuesday that the Dream Act passed by state lawmakers last year is a spending bill therefore cannot legally be subject to a referendum.

Paul J. Orfanedes, a lawyer representing the group that led the petition drive, said the law has nothing to do with spending and should be allowed on the ballot. A lower court previously ruled in favor of opponents.