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Thanks to Assembly Democrats, more students can afford to attend Community College.

After passing the California legislature with bipartisan support, Assembly Bill 19 (Santiago) was signed into law by Governor Brown.  AB 19 will allow California Community Colleges to waive fees for first time, full-time community college students for one year – boosting enrollment and graduation rates; expanding access to financial aid while decreasing student debt; and supporting California’s business climate by addressing the shortage of college-educated workers needed to sustain the state’s workforce.

Any first time, full-time community college student is eligible. All you have to do is fill out your FAFSA application or California Dream Act application by March 2.

Celebrating California’s Community College Promise

AB 19 -- Free Community College -- Signed Into Law

(Los Angeles) – Assemblymembers Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), Senate pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and education supporters gathered at Roosevelt High School today to celebrate the signing of Assembly Bill 19 by Governor Jerry Brown. He signed AB19, authored by Assemblymember Santiago, into law on Friday. 

The measure, jointly authored by Assemblymembers David Chiu (San Francisco) and Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), allows community colleges to waive fees for first time, full time community college students for one year.

“Community college changed my life," said Assemblymember Santiago. It gave me choices and opportunities and it opened doors. I know that free community college will change the lives of all Californians. To educate a community is to empower a community -- I am overjoyed, plain and simple."  

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. 

AB 19 fact sheet is attached PDF.

Below are links to audio of Assemblymember Santiago and the entire news conference:

Opening remarks from Assemblymember Santiago. (6:42)

Assemblymember Santiago says the signing of AB 19 sends a powerful message to the students of today. (:13)

Assemblymember Santiago says AB 19 means more students will be successful in college. (:16)

Entire, unedited Celebrating California’s Community College Promise news conference. (32:59)

A continuación 1 corte de audio en español del asambleísta Miguel Santiago:

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 53rdDistrict composed of the cities of Los Angeles, Huntington Park, and Vernon.


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What Members Are Saying

Assemblymember Kevin Mullin, District 22

“This bill brings California’s election recount process into the 21st century. Elections are a fundamental democratic principle and we must make every effort to ensure their integrity. I believe AB 44, will do just that.”

Assemblymember Jose Medina, District 61

As Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, I know the importance of college affordability and safety. We must ensure students are provided with safe learning environments. In addition, students need transparency in higher education costs in order to make informed financial decisions for college."

Assemblymember Shirley Weber, District 79

"We know that students in foster care are more likely to achieve their full potential when they are provided services designed to meet their particular needs. It's imperative that foster youth get the support and resources they need to succeed academically."