Lt. Governor John Garamendi, Candidate for Congress, Urges Passage of Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act

WALNUT CREEK – Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi, the Democratic nominee for California’s 10th Congressional District, today urged members of Congress to support the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009.

“I urge members of Congress to give our students a fair shake by supporting the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009,” said Garamendi, a University of California regent and California State University trustee. “In California, we have seen student fees rise dramatically at our public universities and community colleges, and we must do all we can to keep higher education affordable. Our future economic prosperity depends on creating a broadly educated workforce.”

The nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California estimates that if present trends continue, California will have one million college graduates fewer than necessary to keep pace with our economy by 2025. Student fees have increased fivefold at UC and CSU since 1990, making a college education in California less affordable for working and middle class students and their families. In response to budget cuts on the state level, UC and CSU have denied enrollment to nearly 50,000 qualified students. On Wednesday, the UC Board of Regents will consider a proposal to increase student fees another 30 percent.

The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009 will generate almost $100 billion in savings over the next ten years that will be used to increase Pell Grant scholarships, keep interest rates on federal loans affordable, and create a more reliable and effective financial aid system for families -- all at no cost to taxpayers. The legislation also includes significant investments to build a 21st century early education system that will prepare the next generation of students for a lifetime of success.

Garamendi has been endorsed by President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore.

He is also endorsed by UC Berkeley Professor George Lakoff, the National Education Association, California Teachers Association, California Federation of Teachers, California School Employees Association, CSU Employees Union, and United Auto Workers, which represents graduate student instructors.

A special general election will be held on November 3rd. In the special primary election, Garamendi secured the most votes in the field, and Democrats held a two-to-one vote advantage over Republicans. For more information, please visit http://www.garamendi.org.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2009
Contact: Josh Franco, 916-863-6881, jfranco@garamendi.org

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