SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) was joined by Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca at Los Angeles Union Station today to announce the Speaker’s introduction of AB 2324, legislation that will help protect commuters and travelers by making it a crime to bring most weapons aboard public transit vehicles and into vulnerable areas of bus depots and train stations. The bill will also make it a crime to knowingly avoid security screenings and strengthen penalties for repeat offenders engaging in certain dangerous crimes.
“We need to keep weapons out of our mass transit system so that passengers have a safe way to travel and employees have a safe place to work, just as we do at our airports and seaports,” Pérez said. “AB 2324 will be another tool Sheriff Baca and all the other professionals here today can use to help the rest of us go about our daily routines safely and securely.”
“AB 2324 allows law enforcement to employ better methods of maintaining order and security, really giving travelers piece of mind and helping us prevent potential terrorist attacks on our transportation hubs,” Baca said. “Keeping weapons a safe distance away from these vulnerable sites strengthens our front lines and denies opportunities to would-be perpetrators.”
Assembly Bill 2324 prohibits an unauthorized person from knowingly entering a sterile area of a public transit vehicle station if that area has been posted with a notice that access is restricted, and creates a punishment if that person refuses to leave the area after being requested to do so by a peace officer or authorized personnel.
Assembly Bill 2324 also makes it a misdemeanor to willfully tamper with, remove, displace, injure, or destroy any part of any light rail train or bus equipment; and it recasts the provisions related to disturbing the peace on a public transit vehicle.
The bill also prohibits a person from intentionally bypassing security checkpoints at a public transit vehicle station and creates a punishment if a violation of this prohibition is responsible for the evacuation of public transit vehicle station.
Finally, the bill recasts provisions related to fare evasion and increases the penalty for repeat offenders.
(Sacramento) - Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), joined by Assemblymembers Nathan Fletcher (R-San Diego) and Marty Block (D-San Diego), met today with the family of Chelsea King at the State Capitol. Following the meeting, Pérez announced he is directing the Assembly to provide up to $250,000 from its budget savings to the Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB) for training parole and probation officers in investigation techniques that the SOMB has concluded can help protect communities from potential repeat offenders. Here’s more in this Assembly Access video.
SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), joined by Assemblymembers Nathan Fletcher (R-San Diego) and Marty Block (D-San Diego), met today with the family of Chelsea King at the State Capitol. Following the meeting, Pérez announced he is directing the Assembly to provide up to $250,000 from its budget savings to the Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB) for training parole and probation officers in investigation techniques that the SOMB has concluded can help protect communities from potential repeat offenders.
“The safety of our public must always be the highest priority for any government, and clearly California needs to look at ways to increase supervision of parolees to prevent anyone else from being victimized—and to ensure that the punishment for those offenses is appropriate to protect communities, and especially children, from dangerous offenders,” Pérez said.
“I’m pleased to work with the Speaker to support our front-line officers with this funding,” Fletcher said. “Our laws and the enforcement of our laws must be strengthened if we’re going to keep our children safe in their communities.”
In the current fiscal year, the Assembly has already redirected $18 million from its budget savings to provide Californians with services from Cal-Fire, the Employment Development Department and the California Department of Parks and Recreation
Speaker Calls on U.S. Senate to Pass President’s HOMESTAR Program
SACRAMENTO – California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) lauded today’s Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee approval of AB 2614, legislation he authored to facilitate the job-creating federal HOMESTAR energy efficiency rebate program now being considered in the U.S. Senate. Additionally, Pérez urged swift approval of the HOMESTAR program in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).
“In his State of the Union address the President outlined how HOMESTAR would revitalize the construction industry, help small businesses, and support manufacturing – all of which have tremendous job creating potential,” Pérez said in the letter. “We are also moving forward to ensure our state is properly positioned to implement the HOMESTAR program as soon as it becomes law. In fact, I am pleased to share with you that my Assembly Bill 2614 is moving through the legislative process with strong bipartisan support.”
AB 2614 would direct the California Energy Commission (CEC) to work with the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a program involving numerous stakeholders to provide accountability and ensure that the projected energy savings are realized.
HOMESTAR is expected to provide for 50% rebates of up to $1500 for simple energy efficiency upgrades and 50% rebates of up to $3000 for more comprehensive energy efficiency retrofits. Additionally, HOMESTAR is expected to:
Save participating homeowners an average of between $200 - $500 per year in energy costs
Create 168,000 jobs in skilled construction and manufacturing, two of the hardest hit sectors during the U.S. economic downturn Invest $6 billion in the form of consumer rebates to be matched by private investment
Help over three million American families to retrofit their houses to increase energy efficiency and save them as much as $9.5 billion in energy costs over 10 years
Remove the equivalent of 165,000 cars from the road or four 300 megawatt power plants form operation
Dedicate $200 million to provide access to low interest financing
Use a majority of manufactured goods made in the U.S., averaging well over 90 percent domestic production
The HOMESTAR effort comes on top of recent passage of state legislation to help California become more energy efficient. AB 758 (Skinner) requires the CEC to develop and implement a comprehensive program to achieve greater energy savings in existing residential and commercial buildings by using energy audits, energy efficiency improvements, financing options, and green workforce training. SB 77 (Pavley) requires the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority to establish a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Reserve program to assist local jurisdictions in financing the installation of distributed generation renewable energy sources or energy or water efficiency improvements meeting specified requirements that are permanently affixed on real property through the use of a voluntary contractual assessment.
SACRAMENTO – In this Democratic weekly address, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes (D-Sylmar) discuss the Assembly’s efforts to help California homeowners. They note that in addition to passing legislation to help Californians purchase a home, avoid foreclosure or avoid unexpected tax debt after a short sale, the Assembly is reaching out in a statewide effort to quickly and effectively use $700 million in federal foreclosure prevention funds expected for California in May.
English language MP3 file. The running time is 2:08. mp3
Spanish language MP3 file. The running time is 2:48. mp3
Recent upswings in national jobs numbers and the stock market are promising signs for our economy.
But California is still recovering far too slowly.
Our struggling housing market is, of course, a major part of what’s slowing us down.
Recognizing this, the Assembly is working to help homeowners stay in their homes and to help homebuyers get into the housing market.
We’ve also passed a bill this week that helps tens of thousands of California taxpayers who had to utilize short sales and other tools because of the recession and foreclosure crisis.
It prevents these taxpayers from being swamped by unexpected tax debt just when their heads are coming up above water.
With the Obama Administration making additional resources available, there are even more things that we can do to help.
The Hardest Hit Housing Market program will provide California with up to $700 million in federal foreclosure prevention funds beginning as early as May.
We must utilize these funds quickly and effectively.
The Assembly has reached out to the hard hit Central Valley, the Inland Empire, San Diego and other areas struggling for ideas.
Now, in working with the California Housing Finance Agency on ways to implement the funds, we’re relaying the message that we’ve heard time and again from neighborhood to neighborhood.
Everyone must be involved, from those who know what it’s like to go through the foreclosure crisis to those with the resources to protect against it.
We have to leverage the new funds, bringing in banks and private sector investment to maximize available dollars.
Homeowners must be provided a variety of information and the tools they need to avoid foreclosure.
We can also do more to help with counseling and mediation services to find alternatives to foreclosure.
CONTACT: Shannon Murphy (916) 319-2408
Asambleísta Fuentes: Ayuda a los Dueños de Casa de California es Esencial para la Recuperación Económica
SACRAMENTO – En el mensaje demócrata semanal, el asambleísta Felipe Fuentes (D-Sylmar), comenta sobre los esfuerzos que lleva adelante la Asamblea para ayudar a los dueños de casa en California. Fuentes indica que además de aprobar una legislación que ayude a los californianos a comprar una vivienda, y evitar los embargos como también la deuda tributaria debido a una venta de tiempo corto, la Asamblea se ha dado la tarea a nivel estatal de conocer las realidades para usar rápida y efectivamente los 700 millones de dólares en fondos federales para evitar los embargos que comenzarán a llegar a California el mes de mayo.
MENSAJE RADIAL Hola, les habla el asambleísta Felipe Fuentes, presidente del Comité de Apropiaciones de la Asamblea
La reciente mejoría en los números del empleo a nivel nacional y de la bolsa de valores son señales prometedoras para nuestra economía.
Pero California todavía se recupera muy lentamente.
Nuestro agobiante mercado de la vivienda es, de todas maneras, el mayor problema de nuestra lentitud.
Reconociendo esto, la Asamblea trabaja para ayudar a los dueños de casa a no perder sus hogares y crear las condiciones para que más personas tengan acceso al mercado habitacional.
Hemos pasado una propuesta de ley esta semana que ayudará a decenas de miles de contribuyentes Californianos que han tenido que utilizar ventas cortas y otros métodos por causa de esta recesión y la crisis hipotecaria.
La medida evita que la deuda inesperada de impuestos perjudique a los contribuyentes cuando apenas se recuperan económicamente.
Con la administración Obama otorgando recursos adicionales, existe la posibilidad de hacer mucho más de lo que se ha hecho hasta el momento.
El programa “The Hardest Hit Housing Market” otorgará a California casi $700 millones de dólares en fondos federales para prevenir más embargos a partir de los primeros días de mayo.
Nosotros debemos usar estos fondos de forma eficaz y rápida.
La Asamblea se ha contactado con las áreas más afectadas del Valle Central, de Inland Empire, San Diego y otras regiones para recaudar ideas.
Ahora, trabajando con la Agencia de Financiamiento de la Vivienda de California en formas para usar estos fondos, nosotros transmitimos el mensaje que hemos escuchado una y otra vez de vecindario en vecindario.
Todos debemos estar envueltos, desde aquellos que saben lo qué es ser embargado hasta aquellos que cuentan con los recursos para protegerse de ellos.
Nosotros debemos potenciar los nuevos fondos, invitando a los bancos y al sector privado a maximizar los dólares disponibles.
A los dueños de casa se les debe proporcionar una variedad de información y herramientas necesarias para evitar los embargos.
También creo que podemos hacer más con los servicios de asesorías y mediación para entregar alternativas a los embargos.
Y eso incluye la posibilidad de aumentar la posibilidad de un seguro donde las familias que confrontan la perdida del empleo puedan permanecer en sus viviendas.
En la Asamblea, el empleo y la recuperación económica son nuestra prioridad número uno. Y menos embargos y un mercado de la vivienda más sano son vitales para ambos.
Les habló Felipe Fuentes, presidente del Comité de Apropiaciones de la Asamblea. Gracias por su atención.
(Sacramento) – The Farmworker Health Act, Assembly Bill 1963, by Assemblymember Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara), successfully passed the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee today.
The measure, cosponsored by Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles, the California Health Officers Association, and Pesticide Action Network of North America, will reduce pesticide poisoning in California by streamlining the tracking of pesticide usage and exposure by state officials.
“Farm workers are regularly exposed to potentially harmful pesticides risking birth defects, non-hodgkins lymphoma, leukemia and other life threatening diseases to help bring food to our tables,” said Assemblymember Nava. “It is critical that we provide this vital workforce with the best possible protections from chemicals that adversely affect their health.” As part of their job, farm workers in California load, mix, and apply hazardous pesticide chemicals, including organophosphates and carbamates. These pesticides work by inhibiting a nerve enzyme called cholinesterase (ChE), which is essential to maintaining normal nerve function.
Symptoms of ChE depression include: impaired reproduction; an increased risk of spontaneous abortion and congenital defects resulting in fetal death and altered birth parameters such as low birth weight and birth length; a weakened immune system; an increased risk of non-hodgkins lymphoma and leukemia; increased incidence of asthma; nerve damage; and neurotoxilogically related death.
Approximately 5 million pounds were applied in California in 2008.
According to a law enacted in 1974, employers who require workers to apply these pesticides must test workers’ ChE levels to ensure that workers' health is not endangered. Unfortunately, there is no requirement for test results to be delivered to any state agency responsible for worker health.
AB 1963 is a simple fix to an outdated law – it would require electronic reporting of lab results to relevant state agencies that can protect workers and prevent pesticide poisonings.
“The testing program is over 30 years old; it's high time to make a modest adjustment so that state authorities can determine if the program is protecting farm workers from easily preventable pesticide exposure, or not,” said Margaret Reeves, Senior Scientist at Pesticide Action Network of North America. “Reporting test results is both feasible and necessary for the protection of thousands of workers who routinely handle highly hazardous neurotoxins.” Electronic reporting will allow authorities, including the Department of Pesticide Regulation and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, to implement necessary safety precautions in work places with high exposure levels. These changes can include evaluating current safety precautions, changing handling practices, improving pesticide safety training, and general sanitation and decontamination practices.
Additionally, electronic reporting can provide increased medical supervision of workers. AB 1963 will lead to improvements in the workplace safety and reduce farm worker exposure to harmful pesticides. The measure now moves to the Assembly Health Committee for consideration in the coming weeks.
(Sacramento) – Assemblymember Tom Torlakson (D-Contra Costa) and Assemblymember Mike Davis (D-Los Angeles) have introduced a bill which requires a university or college to write a Disclosure Letter to a student-athlete recruit detailing the terms of a scholarship before signing the National Letter of Intent.
“Student-Athletes have been promised the moon – multi-year free-tuition scholarships and paid-for medical expenses related to sports injuries. But some universities and colleges are not living up to their assurances and many student-athletes are left on the sidelines
without the scholarship and without help for paying off medical costs when a player is hurt while playing in a game, tournament or sport,” said Torlakson, who is a teacher and a coach and Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Schools and Community. “This bill will clarify the rights and responsibilities of the student-athlete and university or college so the student can make the best decision regarding such an important time in their life.”
The NCAA prohibits multi-year free-tuition scholarships but students are often made verbal promises during the recruiting process that are not always followed through. Scholarships are limited to one year renewals and students can be dropped at any moment. In addition, the NCAA does not require a university or college pay for sports-related medical expenses so a student who is injured may be responsible for hospital, doctor and physical therapy bills.
“It is time for us to address this lack of transparency. Student-Athletes contribute to athletic programs at higher learning institutions around the country. These programs benefit the students, alumni, administration and ultimately the university or college. Enrollment also becomes more competitive when the sports spotlight is on a particular athletic department and fans start paying more attention,” said Davis,
Chair of the Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media. “Therefore the administration owes a duty of good faith in negotiation with prospective student athletes and should not allow recruiters and coaches to make promises to take care of them which they cannot keep. Our bill will protect California’s recruits as they make one of the most important decisions in life.”
The Student-Athletes’ Right to Know Bill – AB 2079 – also requires all institutions with intercollegiate athletic programs to provide a disclosure letter to the student recruits within one week of a recruiter’s contact with a student-athlete.
(Sacramento) – Legislation introduced by Assemblymember Alyson Huber to identify and eliminate waste, duplication, and inefficiency in government agencies moved one step closer to becoming law today. AB 1659 and AB 2130 passed out of the Assembly Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protection with bipartisan support.
“Legislators create new boards, commissions, agencies and departments to solve a problem and then no one looks back and asks whether the new bureaucracy actually solved the problem it was created to solve or whether the problem is worse,” testified Assemblymember Alyson Huber. “We can fix this systemic problem by conducting comprehensive, regular reviews of state government to ensure taxpayers that their money is being used wisely. Other states have been doing this for years and California should adopt this common sense approach to oversight.”
Assemblymember Huber was joined at the hearing by Michael Shaw, Legislative Director of the National Federation of Independent Business, in support of the bill.
“AB 1659 and AB 2130 create a long-term review process that promotes accountability and consistency by establishing routine reviews of existing boards and commissions that focus on determining whether or not they are still necessary,” said Shaw. “Through this improved public process we hope California will become a better place to start and grow businesses that keep our state prosperous.”
AB 1659 would take existing legislative resources and re-direct them to the Joint Sunset Review Committee which would conduct a comprehensive analysis of state government agencies to determine if the agency is still necessary, should be reorganized or is cost effective. In order to compel action on recommendations, it is the intent that automatic sunset dates would be established for entities scheduled for review. Prior to the committee’s recommendation each agency scheduled for sunset would be required to submit a report to the committee. Then, the committee would take public testimony and evaluate the agency prior to the agency’s scheduled sunset.
AB 2130 serves as starting point to define which government entities will be subject to the Committee established by AB 1659 and sets the sunset timetable for the first years of reviews.
In 1989, the Little Hoover Commission issued a report, entitled Boards and Commissions: California's Hidden Government, which found that, “California's multi-level, complex governmental structure today includes more than 400 boards, commissions, authorities, associations, councils and committees. These plural bodies operate to a large degree autonomously and outside of the normal checks and balances of representative government.”
The Commission concluded that “the state's boards, commissions and similar bodies are proliferating without adequate evaluation of need, effectiveness and efficiency.”
Numerous other states have a sunset review function. Texas, for example, created its Sunset Advisory Commission in 1978. Since the Commission’s inception 58 agencies have been abolished and another 12 agencies have been consolidated saving $27 for each dollar spent on the Commission. Total savings achieved by the Commission equals roughly 5% of the state's budget.
Despite the explosion in California’s bureaucracy no system has been instituted to comprehensively evaluate their effectiveness and necessity. AB 1659 addresses the need for a system of review.
The bills will be heard in Assembly Committee on Appropriations next.
SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblymembers Norma Torres (D-Pomona) and Mike Eng (D-Monterey Park) today urged the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) to consider several home foreclosure prevention approaches as CalHFA develops the state’s program proposal for $700 million in new federal Hardest Hit Housing Market (H4M) assistance. The proposal for the federal H4M funding is due by April 16, 2010.
“California has been hit harder by the foreclosure crisis and subsequent recession than any other state in the Union, and these funds will help stabilize California’s housing market,” said Speaker Pérez. “Stopping the hemorrhaging in the housing market will help to stabilize our economy, and allow us to focus on creating the quality, high-paying jobs that are our pathway to recovery.”
“As you know, the H4M program presents California with an opportunity to help homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure, are underwater in their mortgages, and/or are unemployed,” the legislators wrote in a letter to CalHFA. “Recognizing the short time period the California Housing Finance Agency has to develop this program, we commend the Agency for your efforts to solicit input from stakeholders who work with at-risk homeowners.”
The legislators added, “As the Assembly continues our efforts to help California recover from the recession and the foreclosure crisis, we look forward to working with you to ensure that the proposal and programs developed by your Agency will be successful in helping California homeowners – and the neighborhoods and communities that suffer from foreclosures as well.”
Specifically, the legislators suggested the following measures:
• Develop strategies with banking partners to leverage the $700 million available to the state to ensure that the funds are used to the maximum advantage. Encourage lenders to participate as equal partners in the program so that the private sector investment complements the government investment
• Offer homeowners comprehensive information and tools to evaluate foreclosure alternatives including short sales
• Devise strategies to help ensure that homeowners assisted through the program can maintain their mortgages for the long-term
• Build upon an existing program with Genworth to provide unemployment insurance to homeowners who may be temporarily out of work and therefore unable to pay their mortgage
• Consider the establishment of partnerships with programs that provide counseling or mediation services to homeowners at risk of foreclosure
The Assembly’s home foreclosure prevention approaches are based on recent outreach efforts conducted by Assemblymember Torres in the Inland Empire, Assemblymember Cathleen Galgiani (D-Livingston) in the Central Valley and Assemblymember Marty Block (D-San Diego) in the San Diego region.
SACRAMENTO – In this Democratic weekly address, Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes (D-Sylmar), Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on the Census, discusses how census participation helps California receive its fair share of federal funding and congressional representation. Fuentes notes that there is still time to mail in census forms and that because the Census Bureau keeps the information confidential and does not share it with anyone, no California resident should fear participating in the census.
Transcript:Hello, this is Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes, Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on the Census.
National Census Day was April 1st, but Californians still have time to fill out this simple but very important questionnaire.
Census forms postmarked throughout April and beyond will be accepted and will help us avoid costly visits Census staff would have to make to homes beginning in May
There is no other civic act that impacts our state and local communities like returning your census form.
It will decide whether or not California will receive its fair share of the 400 billion dollars of federal funding that is given out to states each year for the next ten years.
The census will decide if schools will be properly funded, hospitals have the resources to care for the sick and elderly, and whether or not our roads and bridges will be safe for Californians.
This very important count will also be used to decide how many congressional representatives we will have in Washington DC.
It’s important for all Californians to know that any information you give the US Census Bureau will be kept confidential and will not be shared with anyone.
No resident in our state should fear participation in the census because of their legal status.
Even though the census will have a huge impact on our state, it is very easy to participate in.
There are ten simple questions to complete and return and the Census Bureau’s toll free help line is in English at 866-872-6868 and in Spanish at 866-928-2010.
Again, that’s 866-872-6868 for English and 866-928-2010 for Spanish.
Please visit 2010 census.gov for more information.
With everything our state stands to gain I invite you to join us in making California count in the 2010 census.
This is Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes.
Thank you for listening.
CONTACT: Shannon Murphy (916) 319-2408
Asambleísta Fuentes: Ayude a que California Cuente en el Censo del 2010
SACRAMENTO – En el mensaje demócrata semanal, el asambleísta Felipe Fuentes (D-Sylmar), presidente del Comité Selecto de la Asamblea sobre el Censo, comenta cómo la participación en el Censo ayudará a California a recibir su porción justa de los fondos federales y su representación al Congreso. Fuentes indica que todavía es tiempo de enviar por correo su forma del Censo y que la Oficina del Censo mantiene la información confidencial y no la comparte con ninguna otra agencia o individuos, y es por esta razón que ningún residente de California debería tener miedo de participar en el Censo.
MENSAJE RADIALHola, les habla el asambleísta Felipe Fuentes, presidente del Comité Selecto de la Asamblea sobre el Censo.
El día nacional del Censo fue el primero de abril, pero los californianos todavía tienen tiempo para llenar el simple pero muy importante cuestionario.
Las formas del Censo enviadas antes del 30 de abril y después de esta fecha serán aceptadas y nos ayudaran a evitar las costosas visitas del personal del Censo a nuestros hogares programadas para comienzos de mayo.
No existe ningún otro acto cívico con tal grado de impacto para nuestro estado y comunidades locales que llenar y enviar de vuelta la forma del Censo
Esto decidirá si California recibe o no su justa parte de los 400 mil millones de dólares en fondos federales que se distribuyen a todos los estados cada año por los próximos diez años.
El censo decidirá si las escuelas recibirán los fondos apropiados, los hospitales contarán con los recursos necesarios para atender a los enfermos y ancianos, o si los puentes y carreteras serán los suficientemente seguros para los californianos.
Este importante conteo será usado para decidir cuantos representantes al Congreso tendremos como estado en Washington DC.
Por eso que es muy importante que los californianos sepan que cualquier información proporcionada a la Oficina del Censo es confidencial y por ley no puede ser compartida con ninguna otra agencia o individuos.
Ningún residente de nuestro estado debería tener miedo o excluirse de participar en el Censo debido a su estado legal.
Aunque el Censo tendrá un gran impacto en nuestro estado, también es muy fácil de participar en el. Son solamente diez simples preguntas para completar y enviarla de vuelta, y la Oficina del Censo cuenta con una línea telefónica de ayuda gratuita en español llamando al 1-866-928-2010.
Otra vez, es el 1-866-928-2010.
Por favor visite el portal de Internet 2010 census.gov para más información.
Con todo lo que el estado tiene por ganar, le invito a que nos acompañe para que nos cuenten como se debe en el Censo del 2010.
Gracias por su atención. Les habló el asambleísta Felipe Fuentes.
“This bill brings California’s election recount process into the 21st century. Elections are a fundamental democratic principle and we must make every effort to ensure their integrity. I believe AB 44, will do just that.”
As Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, I know the importance of college affordability and safety. We must ensure students are provided with safe learning environments. In addition, students need transparency in higher education costs in order to make informed financial decisions for college."
"We know that students in foster care are more likely to achieve their full potential when they are provided services designed to meet their particular needs. It's imperative that foster youth get the support and resources they need to succeed academically."