Legislation for undocumented students moves forward

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The California State Assembly Committee on Appropriations voted this morning on the California DREAM Act, officially titled Assembly Bills 130 and 131, resulting in the approval of AB 130 and the suspension of AB 131.

Following today's decision, AB 130 will now go to the full assembly to be voted on.

The bills, both authored by Assemblymember Gilbert Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, would expand the sources available under law for undocumented prospective college students to receive financial aid.

AB 130, which would allow the University of California, California State Universities and California Community Colleges to provide financial aid for undocumented students, will have no direct fiscal impact on the state of California because the funds would come from university financial aid reserves.

AB 131, which would allow undocumented students to be eligible for state financial aid, such as the Cal Grant system, was suspended and will be brought to the assembly again for vote and discussion in late May, according to Chuck Nicol, principal consultant with the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

"We are very pleased that the bill passed," said Cedillo after the meeting. "Unfortunately some of my colleagues are still unable to shed their partisanship, but we need to do what's best for all the people of California."

Assemblymember Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks - whose bill proposing to repeal existing legislation that allows undocumented students to pay instate tuition recently failed - said in a statement the bills could have negative fiscal impacts.

"We have limited resources; these measures would expand the pool of people competing for those resources and will essentially act as one more incentive for people to come here illegally," he said in the statement. "While I was not at all surprised by the result of today's proceedings, I am disturbed to see the agenda of some legislators is not to address the State's most pressing problems, but instead to advocate policies that continue California's slow slouching toward Socialism."

Contact Jessica Rossoni at [email protected]

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