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(Los Angeles) - It was a great day for California's middle class college students and their families.  California State Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) joined Governor Jerry Brown in Los Angeles at Cahuenga Elementary School for the signing of Speaker Pérez's Middle Class Scholarship. The Middle Class Scholarship will cut fees at UC and CSU by 40 percent for California families earning less than $100,000 and 10 percent for families earning less than $150,000 annually.

"This is a great victory for higher education and middle class families in California, and a huge first step in keeping college affordable," said Speaker Pérez.  "For the past ten years, the middle class has been increasingly squeezed out of our public universities because of skyrocketing tuition rates, forcing students to drop out of college or take on massive student debt that will negatively impact them for years, possibly decades.  This legislation will ensure that California maintains a healthy middle class and an educated workforce to keep our economy strong."

Unfortunately, this great news for students comes the same day as some disappointing news.  Because of Congress's failure to act, student loan interest rates have doubled.  Even though today’s deadline to prevent the increase has passed, Speaker Pérez called on Congress to act to avoid this harm to students. In June, Speaker Pérez authored Assembly Joint Resolution 20, urging Congress to act to prevent the interest rates from rising, which passed with strong bipartisan support.

Watch the AB 94 signing ceremony and Speaker Pérez's comments in this Assembly Access Video.