By Chris Nichols - Politi Fact California
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom took his first step toward guaranteeing free community college in California last week, marking early progress on one of his top campaign promises.
Newsom proposed spending $40 million during the next fiscal year to extend the California College Promise program to a second year of free community college for eligible students. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the program into law in 2017, creating one free year of tuition for students who meet certain criteria.
"We're going to get that second year of free community college," Newsom, who was sworn-in last week, told reporters during the unveiling of his 2019-2020 fiscal year budget in Sacramento.
Newsom's move, which must be approved by the Legislature before it can go into effect, would only pay for a free second year for an estimated 28,000 students. That's about 1 percent of the state's 2.1 million community college students.