Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León, Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, Students, and Faculty Urge Governor to Sign Important College Access and Student Success Legislation

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Assembly Bill 19, authored by Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, currently awaits action by Governor Jerry Brown, Jr.

Los Angeles – Earlier this morning, at Eagle Rock Junior/Senior High School, Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) joined with students, faculty, and a diverse coalition of supporters urging Governor Jerry Brown to sign Assembly Bill 19, legislation that would allow community colleges to waive fees for first time, full time community college students for one year.

“Assembly Bill 19 passed both houses of the legislature with bipartisan support for good reason: California leaders understand that public education can no longer mean Kindergarten through 12th grade when we need to prepare for a global economy,” said Senator de León. “We strongly encourage Governor Brown to sign this important measure, and make an investment that will draw students into college and help them achieve success.”

After passing the California legislature with bipartisan support, Assembly Bill 19 (Santiago) is awaiting action by Governor Brown. AB 19 will expand the number of students eligible for a community college fee waiver – boosting enrollment and graduation rates, expanding access to financial aid while decreasing student debt. The measure will also significantly impact the state’s business climate, increasing the number of college-educated workers needed to sustain the California’s workforce.

“In 2015, former President Obama proposed two years of tuition-free community college for eligible students. Modeled off the Tennessee Promise and California’s own Long Beach Promise, this legislation makes it clear that California’s students deserve the same opportunities to achieve,” said AB 19 author Assemblymember Miguel Santiago.  “That’s why, in addition to bipartisan legislative support, this bill is supported by a diverse and broad coalition of educators, business, labor and others, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.”

“High school students – usually those from low-income households – assume they can’t afford or succeed in college and simply don’t participate,” continued LA Community College District Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez. “Today, we’re sending high school students who want to go to college an important message: there’s a seat for you. We want to create a ‘college-going’ culture in communities around California. This legislation does just that.”

AB 19 fact sheet is attached. Governor Jerry Brown has until October 15th to act upon Assembly Bill 19.

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago is Chair of the California State Assembly’s Committee on Communications & Conveyance and is a member of both the Assembly’s Higher Education Committee and the California Latino Legislative Caucus. He represents the 53rd District composed of the cities of Los Angeles, Huntington Park, and Vernon.

CONTACT: Jackie.Koenig@asm.ca.gov, (916) 319-2053