California College Affordability Act (2008)

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The College Affordability Act (07-0084) was a statutory initiative in California that would freeze mandatory fees for state universities for undergraduate students from 2009 to 2014. The initiative was also referred to as the Freeze Tuition ballot initiative. The initiative has been cleared for circulation.[1]

The goals of the initiative were to:

  • Forbid increasing resident undergraduate student fees in University of California and California State University systems for five years.
  • Provide fee increases after five years shall not exceed the change in California Consumer Price Index.
  • Provide application of the fee restrictions to University of California requires approval by University Regents.
  • Impose one-percent tax on individual taxable income that exceeds one-million dollars, and requires 60% of revenue go to the university systems subject to the fee restrictions.
  • Establish accountability panel and require annual “accountability update” detailing how tax revenue are spent.[2]</blockquote>

Fiscal impact

The estimated fiscal impact statement released by California's Legislative Analyst's office suggests that passage of the initiative might result in:

  • An annual increase in state revenues of roughly $2 billion from a new 1 percent tax on high-income individuals. Of these new revenues, 60 percent would be allocated to undergraduate education at the state’s public universities and the remaining 40 percent likely would be spent on K-14 education.
  • Reduction in public university undergraduate fee revenues (primarily from a five-year freeze on fee levels), potentially exceeding $1 billion by the end of the freeze period.[3]


Valeria Fike-Rosales filed the proposal. The official group supporting it is called Students and Families for Tuition Relief Now,[4] and they have announced that they intend to sponsor the initiative as "first student-led and volunteer-staffed ballot initiative in CA's history."

Having just received the Attorney General’s official title and summary, the group’s thousands of volunteers – donned in ubiquitous bright yellow T-shirts – have fanned out across 30 campuses and surrounding communities across California.

The group needs to collect about 434,000 valid signatures by April 21, 2008 in order to qualify for the November 2008 ballot.

Financial sponsorship

Seed money for the initiative has been provided by a Berkeley, California-based organization, Greenlining Action. As of early February, the campaign had spent about $200,000.[5]

See also

External links