Scholarship act receives support

Jason Chung

California State Assembly speaker John A. Pérez has recently been receiving massive college student support for his proposed Middle Class Scholarship Act, which aims to slash state college fees by two-thirds.

Ever since Pérez introduced his plan to the State Assembly in February, he has been traveling to different college campuses and sending out press packages soliciting support for the act with positive results.

On March 5, an estimated 10,000 protesters made up of UC students marched to the State Capitol in Sacramento as part of the 10th Annual UC Student Lobby Conference to lobby the passing of the act’s two Assembly Bills, the AB 1500 and the AB 1501. The former closes the Single Sales Factor loophole and redirect funds into the Middle Class Scholarship Fund, while the latter establishes the Middle Class Scholarship program to distribute the funds.

“We need to close the Single Sales Factor loophole,” Perez said. “Too many out-of-state companies can choose their own tax rates for California.”

In addition, the SLC also advocated for the Working Families Student Fee Transparency and Accountability Act (AB 970) and Same Day Voter Registration (AB 1436).

The act intends to address the Single Sales Factor tax loophole and redirect the revenue lost to out-of-state corporations into the Middle Class Scholarship program, which provides scholarships for students in the California State University and University of California systems as well as funding for California Community Colleges.

The target recipients are students whose family have an income of less than $150,000 but do not qualify for any kind of financial aid.

“With the collapse of our economy, we have made our colleges and universities more expensive and less accessible,” Pérez said. “The Middle Class Scholarship Act intends to turn that around.”

California Community Colleges students will not receive direct scholarships, but $150 million will be allocated to the CCC system to alleviate its financial burden in order to reduce costs for students, according to Pérez.

“The average UC student will save about $8,200 a year,” Pérez said. “For CSU students, they would save approximately $4,000 per year.”

In order to pass, the corresponding bills require two-thirds votes from each house of the California State Legislature.

If the act passes, California will join 23 other states that do not have this tax loophole.

The Single Sales Factor allows out-of-state corporations to enjoy large tax breaks even if they only have a small number of employees or very little involvement in California.

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