ASUC to host roundtable with state Assembly members

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The ASUC will host a roundtable discussion about the Middle Class Scholarship Act with Speaker of the Assembly John Perez, D-Los Angeles, and Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, on Thursday in the ASUC Senate chambers in Eshleman Hall.

The two former UC Berkeley students coauthored the act, which is designed to close a tax loophole that currently benefits out-of-state corporations and utilize the funds to provide scholarship that will reduce tuition costs. The act was announced in February and has not yet reached the assembly floor.

If passed, the act would provide support for all three levels of higher education, including community colleges, the California State University and the University of California. It would provide assistance for students whose family income is less than $150,000 but do not already have their fees covered. UC students who qualify for the scholarship are expected to save up to about $8,170 per year.

“With the collapse of our economy, we’ve made our colleges and universities more expensive and less accessible,” Perez said in a YouTube video. “The Middle Class Scholarship Act intends to turn that around.”

The act could attract students who may otherwise chose a different university because of a better financial aid package, said current ASUC senator and presidential candidate Noah Ickowitz.

ASUC External Affairs Vice President Joey Freeman said the roundtable is one of many events ASUC hopes will generate support for efforts to restore funding to higher education like the Fund the UC campaign.

“This is kind of the big deal in higher education right now at least at the state level,” Freeman said of the act. “We are trying to build some energy around that and see this pass. We can achieve so much good and find a way to pay for it.”