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Republican Lawmakers Aim to Make College Affordable

Several Republican state lawmakers are authoring legislation they say will make college more affordable in California.

Assemblymember Beth Gaines is authoring a bill to restore state-funded financial awards known as "Cal Grants" for students attending private colleges and trade schools. The grants were reduced last year from about $9700 to $4000, as part of the 2012-2013 state budget.

She said reducing the Cal Grant awards actually increases the cost to the state in the long-run.

"If Cal Grant awards are cut, many students would be forced to choose another university, we all know how overcrowded our public universities are right now.This would put more pressure on our general fund," said Gaines.

Lawmakers didn't identify a funding source for the change. But Gaines said it's cheaper to provide Cal Grants to private college students than to pay the $12,000 for a Cal Grant at a UC or CSU school.

Republicans have also proposed bills that would freeze tuition at California's public colleges and universities for seven years while Proposition 30 taxes are in effect.

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