California has made it easier for undocumented students to receive financial aid. California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed Assembly Bill 130 into law, which makes access to privately funded financial aid easier for the population.
The bill was authored by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles), but his work isn’t done. The LA Times reports that the assemblyman is also pushing a measure that would allow certain undocumented students to qualify for Cal Grants, (grants funded by California with a small portion backed by the federal government). The awards do not have to be paid back. In addition to Cal grants, Cedillo’s measure would make certain undocumented students eligible for other forms of state tuition aid as well. California’s governor said he was “positively inclined” toward such a bill but would not come to a decision until its before him.
After signing the bill on Monday, Brown told reporters that he’s committed to expanding opportunity wherever he can find it. “And certainly these kinds of bills promote a goal of a more inclusive California and a more educated California,” he added.
The history with the DREAM Act on a federal level has been a tension-filled rollercoaster. Last year, the U.S. Senate shot down the bill, which was then re-introduced before Congress two months ago. California isn’t the only state to pass its own version of the DREAM Act. Besides the the Golden State, Utah, Illinois, Kansas, Washington, Maryland, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin allow undocumented students who have attended and graduated from their respective state’s primary and secondary schools to pay the same college tuition as other state residents.