SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) – Governor Gavin Newsom signed several bills to try to make college more affordable and accessible for Californians on Wednesday.
The governor is calling the state’s overall investment into higher education unprecedented.
“We have the plan and this year, we have the money to get big things done,” Gov. Newsom said.
Newsom signed seven bills.
“It’s because we have an historic budget surplus this year testament to your hard work– 80 billion dollars– eat your heart out Texas, eat your heart out Florida, eat your heart out Tennessee,” Gov. Newsom said.
Newsom officially approved the spending plans at a pep-rally like news conference at CSU Northridge in Los Angeles.
The legislation includes a $2 billion investment to boost the availability of affordable housing for college students and campus staff.
“Men and women should be able to focus on their jobs or their education and now worry about where they will sleep at night,” State Senator Elena Durazo said.
The bills also include efforts to expand student financial aid, provide thousands of more spots for in-state students who want to go to a California State or University of California school, and make it easier for community college students to transfer.
Those efforts are what lawmakers say are the highlights of California’s $47.1 billion higher education budget package this year.
“We’re trying to reconcile the fact that we haven’t been investing in higher education over the course of the last few decades.”
The seven bills signed are just a fraction of the more than 40 higher education proposals Governor Newsom plans to approve.
“Higher education is important for upward mobility, you know what else? for our economy, in order for us to thrive like we are doing today. We need one million more college graduates.. we need you and you and you to get a college degree to help our state survive and thrive,” Assemblymember Kevin McCarty said.
This is one of the last bill signings we could see this week. The governor’s deadline to pass or veto legislation is Sunday.