State of Our State

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Governor delivered his State of the State today. While I strongly support fiscal responsibility to prepare for future economic changes, it is important to recognize the role that higher education plays in ensuring economic success.  Continued support of all three systems of public higher education, California Community Colleges, California State Universities, and the University of California campuses is vital to California’s prosperity.

However, I am concerned that the Governor's priorities for this year do not adequately ensure access for California's students. Last week, the University of California released enrollment data showing that, despite a commitment to serve more California students, enrollments actually decreased by 1,600 Californians in the fall of 2015. Additionally, overall nonresident enrollment increased by 4,700 students. With this growth, nonresident students now comprise 15.5% of UC's undergraduate population. This is troubling and the University of California must do better to serve our highly qualified California students. To that end, Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Education Finance, and I have committed to work together on Legislative and Budget solutions to require UC to meet its obligation to enroll California's students.

We also must support the thousands of California students who were denied access to our public colleges and universities during the recession and subsequently harmed by the illegal practices of predatory for-profit colleges. The abrupt closure of Corinthian Colleges, Inc. last April left thousands of California students, through no fault of their own, with insurmountable debt and lost educational opportunity. Last year, the Governor vetoed my bill, AB 573. In the coming weeks, I will reintroduce legislation to provide relief to these students, and I will work with my colleagues to strengthen California's oversight of for-profit colleges.

I plan to continue to provide a voice for and support of all California students.

Please feel free to call my district office (951) 369-6644 for more information.