Community and Government Report
Budget passes, Cal Grant Program Saved
The California Legislature approved a state budget in July for the 2009-10 fiscal year, closing a $26 billion deficit. While deep cuts were made in many programs, Cal Grants were spared. The maximum award for the fall will remain at $9,708. The budget was balanced without new taxes, but with deep cuts to many state programs. Governor Schwarzenegger made even more cuts through line-item vetoes, slashing funding for programs that help children and the poor. As the national recession wears on, revenue to the states continues to fall behind projections, causing talk of future deficits. While Cal Grants will be funded this fall, the future remains uncertain. This office we will continue to monitor the Cal Grant program funding.
Student Aid and Responsibility Act
The House of Representatives' Education and Labor Committee passed the Student Aid and Responsibility Act, which is a landmark education reform bill. H.R. 3221, authored by George Miller, D- Martinez, is intended to increase access to and competition of higher education. Among other things, this bill provides:
â€¢ Higher Pell Grant scholarships of $5,550 in 2010 and $6,900 in 2019
â€¢ Lower interest rates on need-based (subsidized) federal student loans
â€¢ More access to Perkins Loan Program by expanding it to every U.S. college campus
â€¢ Shorter, simpler FAFSA form that makes applying for financial aid easier
To learn more about this proposed legislation, go to proposal.
The full House is expected to vote on this later this year.
10th Congressional District Special Election
The campaign to replace Ellen Tauscher in the 10th Congressional District is in high gear. Fourteen candidates qualified for the ballot when filing closed on July 20. The Democratic candidates are:
Lt. Governor John Garamendi website
State Senator Mark DeSaulnier website
State Assemblymember Joan Buchanan website
Adriel Hampton website
Anthony Woods website
The Republican candidates are:
Chris Bunch website
Gary Clift website
David Harmer website
Minority party candidates are:
Jerry Denham, American Independent Party website
Jeremy Cloward, Green Party website
Mary C. McIlroy, Peace and Freedom Party website
Absentee voting begins Aug. 3, and you must be registered to vote by Aug. 17 to vote in the primary. Saint Mary's, the League of Women Voters and the Contra Costa Times will hold a candidates' forum on Tuesday Aug. 11 at 7 p.m. in the LeFevre Theatre. Please come and watch democracy in action.
T he Central Contra Costa Sanitary District, or Central San, is doing some sewer repair along St. Mary's Road in Lafayette. Work began on July 27 and should be done by mid-August. The work will be done primarily on the road shoulder but some minor delays may occur. Nevertheless, the road will not be closed during this time.
Many service clubs meet on the Saint Mary's campus, including the Rotary Club of Moraga. Service clubs are a great way to meet new people, network and provide meaningful service to your community. Chief of Public Safety Bill Foley has been a member of the local Rotary club for many years. If you are interested in learning more about Rotary, contact Bill Foley and be his guest at an upcoming lunch meeting. Foley may be reached at 631-8097.