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Bill To Help Families Pay For College Passes Assembly

Aired 5/30/12 on KPBS News.

A bill to help middle class families pay for California colleges and universities has passed the Assembly by a two-thirds vote.

A bill to help middle class families pay for California colleges and universities has passed the Assembly by a two-thirds vote.

The measure is authored by Assembly Speaker John Perez. It would cuts fees for families who make fewer than $150,000 a year but make too much to qualify for state financial aid.

CSU students would save $4000 a year and UC students would save $8200 a year.

Three Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the bill. Others voted no. GOP Assemblyman Donald Wagner says the program ultimately won’t help because the university systems will likely raise fees. “They understand more money available means they can raise their tuition, they can raise the cost of going to school, they can suck up this money that we are suddenly going to make available because that’s the way the market works.”

The program would take effect only if a companion measure is approved. That bill would pay for the scholarships by ending a controversial tax exemption for out-of-state businesses.

It's expected to face a much tougher path in the legislature and will be up for a vote later this year.

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