College students get 2 years of free tuition at Cal State universities if AB 1862 passes

EAST LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KABC) -- College students hope a new bill introduced Wednesday will pave a pathway to an affordable bachelor's degree.

Assembly Member Miguel Santiago and members of the Los Angeles Community College District Board celebrated the introduction of Assembly Bill 1862.

If AB 1862 becomes law, it will provide two years of tuition-free education at any California State university.

"Last night there was a presidential debate. Everyone talked about making community colleges free. Everybody talked about making a debt-free education. We're going to do it here in California before anybody else does it," said Santiago who represents District 53 in Los Angeles.

East Los Angeles College student Vincent Maldonado Jr. said his days are non-stop just to make ends meet.

"Drive to work, get here at 8...I'm here until 4:30...I'm back home by 10, take a shower, wrap it up, do it again," said Maldonado.

He was thrilled to hear the news.

"We need all the money we can get especially when we are working full-time, going to school full-time, it's just hard," Maldonado said.

The free tuition is meant for California Community College resident transfer students earning an associate's degree for transfer while participating in the California College Promise program.

The bill could help thousands.

"The beauty of California, if we stand together, we can continue to make a change that will be felt throughout the country," said Jemere Calhoun, Associated Student Government president at Los Angeles Community College.

The bill will soon make its way through the state Assembly, followed by the Senate.

Those supporting the proposal think it could be a game changer for students, many of which are struggling financially, by providing a pathway to a free bachelor's degree.
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