Monday, September 5, 2011


California Gov. Jerry Brown's administration announced today it plans to close 70 state parks, part of the $33 million in parks budget cuts the state legislature has approved. Years of budget deficits have raised the scepter of state park closures before, but this is the first time California listed specific parks it plans to close

One of two measures that make up what’s referred to as the California Dream Act was released from suspense in a state Senate committee today, and is expected to go to the Senate floor next week for a vote. But unlike AB 130, a companion bill that was recently signed into law, the bill known as AB 131 faces slimmer odds of success.

Both measures aim to make it easier for undocumented college students to pay tuition. AB 130 allowed these students access to previously unavailable privately funded scholarships.  AB 131 would grant them access to publicly funded financial aid, the same kind of financial aid now available to students who are U.S. citizens and legal residents. Although undocumented students can qualify for in-state tuition if they meet state residency requirements, they are still barred from public financial aid programs, such as Cal Grants.

The opposition to the second bill is stiff, and it doesn’t necessarily fall along partisan lines. It partly involves money: In spite of amendments made to the bill, implementing AB 131 could cost anywhere between $22 million and $42 million.

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