Middle Class Scholarship Act Fails

The UCSA Board meets in Oakland on Saturday to discuss California State Assembly House Resolution 35.

After passing the California State Assembly on Aug. 13, the Middle Class Scholarship Act (MCSA) failed in the Senate after failing to receive the necessary 2/3rds majority vote on Saturday, Sept. 1 with a vote of 22-16-2.

The bill (AB 1500) would have slashed fees by 60 percent by the beginning of the current academic year for students at University of California and Cal State campuses with family incomes of less than $150,000. The funding would come from revising the state corporate tax law and securing a loophole.

“Today was an opportunity for the State Senate to join the Assembly in approving tax fairness for California businesses and college opportunity for middle class families,” said state Assembly Speaker John Perez, who authored the MCSA.

The Speaker’s office lobbied to garner votes for the 2/3rds majority by engaging in discussions with key swing Senators. The discussions led to several amendments that the Speaker’s office saw as too many concessions, and they decided to let the MCSA fail rather than let it pass as a shell of its original self.

The MCSA could be reintroduced in the state Legislature when the session returns from recess in January 2013. It will need to go through the Assembly and Senate again.

For now, students in UCSA are turning their focus to the upcoming November elections. The ballot will include California propositions affecting public higher education.