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Lawmakers Look To Restore Cal Grant Funding

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Supporters of restoring funding levels to the state's college financial aid program say it's a financially savvy move. "Cal Grants" are awarded to low-income students attending public and private universities in California. The program's budget has been slashed in recent years.

Democratic Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva is proposing a bill that would make it easier for students to renew their grants.

  "We have to invest in our public education, particularly in the college level," she says. "Unless we have that workforce to move California forward with college graduates in the right majors, we're not doing our job"

Republicans have also gotten on board. Assembly man Mike Morrell co-authored a bill that would restore Cal Grant funding levels for students attending private colleges.

"We're finding out a lot of these students on theses Cal Grant programs at these universities, their families make less than $41,000 a year," Morrell says.

But just because there's some bi-partisan support in the legislature for restoring Cal Grant cuts doesn't mean Governor Jerry Brown will agree. H.D. Palmer is with the Department of Finance. He says the state can't go on a spending spree just because the budget is in better shape.

"If we want to continue on a path to be able to stay in balance," he says, "then we can't undo everything that we've had to do in the last two years."

The governor has said he is reluctant to restore recent budget cuts.

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