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Lawmaker Calls For Corporate Tax Hike To Pay For College

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(credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

(credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Jon Baird Jon Baird
Jon Baird has done general news, consumer, business and sports...
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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Should private corporations help pay for students to attend public university?

KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports a plan to tax big companies to drastically cut college tuition for the middle class is picking up steam in Sacramento.

Assembly Bills 1500 and 1501, known collectively as the “Middle-Class Scholarship Act”, is aimed at closing a corporate tax loophole that would reduce tuition by more than half for families whose annual household income is less than $150,000 but still exceeds the cap for getting a free ride at California’s public universities ($70,000 a year for CSU and $80,000 for UC).

The bills’ author, Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles), said the legislation is critical to keeping higher education in reach for students of middle-income families.

“The Middle Class Scholarship Act will save students at the CSU system $4,000 a year,” said Perez.

The act would effect students at all 10 University of California campuses and 23 California State University systems, where tuition has tripled over the last decade.

As many as 200,000 college students could benefit from the legislation as soon as this fall if it passes the Legislature and is signed by the governor.

Last week, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed a resolution endorsing the Middle Class Scholarship Act.

Students at Cal State Dominguez Hills also seemed in favor of making corporations pay more, even as five out-of-state corporations are lobbying against it and Republican lawmakers have vowed to block Democrats from reaching the two-thirds majority vote they need in the Legislature.

“I think it’s a whole mess and everything is twisted,” said one CSU student.

Lawmakers have their first chance to weigh in Tuesday, when one of the two bills comes before the Assembly Higher Education Committee.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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