Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act to invest millions in Contra Costa County

As details emerge of the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, passed with the health care bill, we can see how this legislation will benefit student aid funding based on local congressional districts. According to the House Committee on Education and Labor, this act provides $50,228,636 in Pell Grants to residents of California's 7th Congressional District; $39,327,569 for residents in the 10th Congressional District; and $59,914,421 in the 11th Congressional District. This act will increase the maximum annual Pell Grant scholarship to $5,550 in 2010 and to $5,975 by 2017. Starting in 2013, the scholarship will be linked to match the rising cost of living by indexing it to the Consumer Price Index. This includes an investment of $13.5 billion to fund a shortfall in the Pell Grant scholarship program due to increased demand for the scholarship. To see how all other congressional districts are funded and additional details of this act, please visit the House Education and Labor website.


State budget revisions expected

May is often filled with anxiety and anticipation over the state budget. The governor's revised budget is expected to be released on May 14. Our sources in Sacramento continue to provide encouraging signals that the Cal Grant program will be spared major reductions. Still, we will hold our breath until we see the numbers in black and white.

State elections coming in June

Political activity is heating up throughout the county and the state. The California primary election will be held on Tuesday, June 8. The last day to register to vote is Monday, May 24. In addition to selecting party nominees for governor and U.S. senator, five statewide initiatives will be on the ballot.

13: Limits on Property Tax Assessment. Seismic Retrofitting
of Existing Buildings. Legislative Constitutional Amendment.
14: Elections. Increases Right to Participate in Primary Elections.
15: California Fair Elections Act.
16: Imposes New Two-Thirds Voter Approval Requirement for Local Public Electricity Providers. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
17: Allows Auto Insurance Companies to Base Their Prices
in Part on a Driver's History of Insurance Coverage. Initiative Statute.

Please visit the secretary of state website for a thorough description and analysis of these important measures.

Poll workers needed

Contra Costa County is looking for poll workers who can spend election day working in the neighborhood precincts. The pay is $80 a day, and half-day shifts are available. For more information, please visit the Contra Costa County election department website http://www.cocovote.us/content.aspx?id=16
Most other California counties need poll workers as well. Please check your local county website for more information.


Moraga Mayor Ken Chew and the members of the Town Council recently proclaimed April 2010 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month at Saint Mary's College and in Moraga. At a recent Town Council meeting, Chew recognized the collaborative efforts of the Saint Mary's College Women's Resource Center, Community Violence Solutions, Moraga Police Department and the Moraga community for the work being done to promote gender equity, end gender-based violence and promote sexual assault awareness with two proclamations. Congratulations to Sharon Sobotta, director of the Women's Resource Center, and Gillian Cutshaw, coordinator of sexual assault awareness, outreach and education, for their efforts on these important issues.

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