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Lawmakers Look To Restore Cal Grant Funding

Apr 9, 2013

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Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Restoring money to California’s college financial aid program is proving to be popular with both Democrats and Republicans in the State Assembly. But even if they agree on the issue, Governor Jerry Brown may not. Katie Orr reports from the State Capitol. 

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 Assembly member 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. Unless we have that workforce to move California forward with college graduates in the right majors, we’re not doing our job,” says Quirk-Silva. 

Republicans have also gotten on board, introducing a bill to restore funding levels for students attending private colleges and universities. 

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, then we can’t undo everything that we’ve had to do in the last two years,” says Palmer.

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