Bill on financial aid for "undocumented" college students advances in California Legislature

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    Jun 03, 2011 10:45 PM GMT
    California has a unique problem. We have such a robust, healthy economy and such a large budget surplus, that we are having difficulty finding ways to spend it. So in a stroke of genius, a bill has been resurrected to provide money for those here illegally. We're just creating more incentives for those to come here. Why not, it's only money.

    Reporting from Sacramento -- State lawmakers Wednesday advanced measures that would allow undocumented university students to apply for financial aid, would help police monitor use of social networking websites by sex offenders and would end the fingerprinting of food stamp recipients.

    Legislators also moved on bids to preventBell-style financial scandals, pension "spiking" and disruptive picketing at military funerals.

    The bills were among more than 200 passed by the Senate or Assembly and sent to the other house.

    The state aid that undocumented students could become eligible for would include Cal-Grants, institutional aid and fee waivers at publicly funded colleges. Then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed measures that would have provided the same privileges.

    Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) said his proposal, which passed the lower house, would help "children brought here through no choice of their own, who embrace our values and learn the language."

    Republicans voted en masse against the measure, AB 131, saying it would create an incentive for illegal immigration.

    Over in the Senate, members voted to require that registered sex offenders disclose to law enforcement their online names, email addresses and social networking accounts to help reduce Internet-related crime.

    "It does give sex offenders reason to think before engaging in predatory practices on the Internet," said Sen. Sharon Runner (R-Lancaster), author of the legislation, SB 57.

    Lawmakers also moved to eliminate a fingerprinting requirement for food stamp recipients. The practice was put in place to prevent fraud, but supporters of a repeal described it as too expensive and unneeded because of other existing protections.

    Democrats cited a state audit that estimated the cost of fingerprinting for next year alone at $17 million, which the lawmakers deemed excessive. Most Republicans voted no, reasoning that striking the fingerprinting requirement would be an invitation to fraud. But the measure, AB 6, passed the Assembly.

    "Why would we continue wasting money and keeping people from food?" asked Assemblyman Roger Dickinson (R-Sacramento).

    Fraud of another kind is the target of legislation that would give the state controller more power to delve into the financial records of California cities. Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) introduced the proposal in response to the scandal inBell.
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    Jun 03, 2011 10:49 PM GMT
    Truly insane.
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    Jun 05, 2011 5:15 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 saidTruly insane.

    Maybe Pelosi will try and create a federal version of this. Need to find additional ways to spend money.