Assembly Bill to Freeze Tuition Clears Higher Education Committee with Bipartisan Support

Sacramento — Today, Assembly Bill 67, a joint effort between Assemblymembers Kristin Olsen, (R-Modesto), Rocky Chavez (R-Oceanside) and Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo) passed out of the Assembly’s Higher Education Committee with bipartisan support.

To ensure that Proposition 30 tax dollars are actually used to protect higher education as the voters intended, Assembly Bill 67 would freeze tuition at all UC and CSU campuses for four years.

“I support this bill because I don’t want the next class of incoming college students to experience the uncertainty of worrying about tuition rates going up like my peers and I have,” said David Cushman, a junior at CSU Stanislaus. “I think California thrives when its young people are able to attend the best higher education system there is, preparing them for a future where they can contribute back to California.”

Even with the passage of Proposition 30, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst estimates that funding for the UC and CSU systems will stay flat over the next five fiscal years. AB 67 will ensure a 5% increase in funding to the UCs and CSUs in 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years, and a 4% increase in 2015-16 and 2016-17 – consistent with the Governor Brown’s budget proposal.

“Too many students are being priced out of a college degree in California,” said Olsen. “Giving students a reliable and predictable tuition rate will go far in helping students achieve their dreams of a college education, and is an integral part of ensuring we have a well-educated and properly trained workforce. I am grateful that my colleagues chose to support our state’s college students and move AB 67 forward.”

“The first adult decision many of these students make is choosing which college or university to attend. Unfortunately, they cannot make an informed decision when there are so many unknown economic variables,” said Chávez. “By stabilizing tuition and fees for four years, AB 67 will allow students to financially prepare for their education and prevent them from being priced out of completing their degrees.”

“We’ve balanced the budgets of the universities over the past decade by tripling the tuition and fees students pay, making a college education unaffordable for many California families,” said Gorell. “This bill reaffirms California’s commitment to supporting higher education and maintaining a well-educated workforce, one of the most important pillars of California’s economy.”

Prior to Assemblymembers Olsen, Chavez and Gorell joining together to author AB 67, Assemblymember Olsen introduced AB 138 and Assemblymember Chavez introduced AB 159, which both aimed at providing predictable tuition rates for current and future California college students.

“A strong economy and an educated workforce go hand in hand, which is why our members have been fighting to make education a budget priority. With a quality education, we can ensure young Californians are prepared for the well-paying jobs of the future,” said Assembly Republican Connie Conway, of Tulare. “Stable tuition costs will help keep the dream of a higher education within reach for California college students.”