DREAM Act Referendum Falls Short
Friday, January 6, 2012
Aired 1/6/12 on KPBS News.
An effort to overturn a new law that makes some undocumented immigrants eligible for college financial aid has failed. Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly announced Friday he could not gather enough signatures to force a voter referendum.
The two-part California DREAM Act was signed by Governor Jerry Brown last year. The first half makes undocumented college students eligible for private scholarships. That took effect at the start of the new year.
The second half extends that eligibility to public scholarships like Cal Grants, and that's the part Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly hoped to give voters a chance to overturn. But Donnelly said his campaign fell about ten percent short of the roughly five-hundred-thousand signatures needed to qualify.
Still, he called the effort a warning to the governor and Democratic lawmakers - who, he said, "want to raise our taxes to put the college dreams of illegals ahead of our own children." With the referendum now dead, undocumented college students can receive public scholarships starting in January 2013.