SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – The California Assembly has approved a bill to cut the cost of attending a California public university for middle class students who make too much money to qualify for financial aid, but no vote has been scheduled on the complicated tax code maneuver needed to pay for the plan.

The Middle Class Scholarship Act cuts University of California and California State University fees by about two-thirds for students whose families earn less than $150,000 but make too much to go to college for free, said Assembly Speaker John Perez.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

Perez said the burden of student loans should not have a choke hold on California’s future.

“Strangling our students with this level of debt slows down their ability to fully integrate into our economy,” he said during the floor debate Wednesday.

The measure passed the Assembly 55 – 17 and goes to the Senate. And lawmakers still have to approve changing the way California taxes out-of-state corporations to fund an estimated $1 billion in scholarships.

Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly said higher corporate taxes could doom the whole plan.

“Any time you propose a new spending program, and that’s what this is, you have to find a way to pay for it. We can’t afford it,” he said.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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