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SB-296 Student financial aid: immigrants seeking asylum.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 09/16/2019 09:00 PM
SB296:v96#DOCUMENT

Enrolled  September 16, 2019
Passed  IN  Senate  September 12, 2019
Passed  IN  Assembly  September 11, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  September 05, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  April 10, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 296


Introduced by Senator Allen
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Gonzalez)

February 14, 2019


An act to amend Section 69433.9 of the Education Code, relating to student financial aid.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 296, Allen. Student financial aid: immigrants seeking asylum.
(1) Existing law, the Cal Grant Program, establishes the Cal Grant A Entitlement Awards, the Cal Grant B Entitlement Awards, the California Community College Transfer Cal Grant Entitlement Awards, the Competitive Cal Grant A and B Awards, the Cal Grant C Awards, and the Cal Grant T Awards under the administration of the Student Aid Commission, and establishes eligibility requirements for awards under these programs for participating students attending qualifying institutions.
Existing law requires that, in order to be eligible to receive a Cal Grant Program award, a student either be a citizen of the United States or an eligible noncitizen, as defined.
This bill would also provide eligibility to a noncitizen who has filed a designated application for asylum and has a valid employment authorization document and social security number.
(2) This bill would incorporate additional changes to Section 69433.9 of the Education Code proposed by SB 575 to be operative only if this bill and SB 575 are enacted and this bill is enacted last.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares both of the following:
(1) Despite California’s commitment to financial aid and college affordability, many immigrants are not eligible for the aid that they need to fund their expenses in college. Among these immigrants are asylum seekers who have filed for asylum and are awaiting an interview date.
(2) Many pending asylees in California may be admitted to a college or a university, but they are not eligible for federal funding until they are granted asylum status. As a result, these students, who have fled persecution, are unable to attend college due to a lack of financial resources.
(b) Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to expand eligibility for Cal Grant Program awards to pending-status immigrants, such as pending asylees who are registered with the Department of Homeland Security, allowing them to receive a Cal Grant Program award that covers expenses at accredited California institutions of higher education.

SEC. 2.

 Section 69433.9 of the Education Code is amended to read:

69433.9.
 To be eligible to receive a Cal Grant award under this chapter, a student shall be all of the following:
(a) One of the following:
(1) A citizen of the United States.
(2) An eligible noncitizen, as defined for purposes of financial aid programs under Title IV of the federal Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1070 et seq., as from time to time amended).
(3) A noncitizen who has filed an I-589 Application for Asylum and has a valid employment authorization document and social security number.
(b) In compliance with all applicable Selective Service registration requirements.
(c) Not incarcerated.
(d) Not in default on any student loan within the meaning of Section 69507.5.
(e) (1) For purposes of Article 2 (commencing with Section 69434), Article 3 (commencing with Section 69435), and Article 4 (commencing with Section 69436), except as provided in subdivision (d) of Section 69436, at the time of high school graduation or its equivalent, a resident of California.
(2) A student who does not meet the requirements for a high school diploma or its equivalent in the academic year immediately preceding the award year, but who meets the requirements for a high school diploma or its equivalent by December 31 of the academic year immediately following the date of application, satisfies any requirement for obtaining high school graduation or its equivalent for the purposes of this chapter as of the first day of the academic term immediately following the term in which the requirements for the high school diploma or its equivalent are met.
(3) No student shall receive an award for a term that begins prior to satisfying any requirement for obtaining high school graduation or its equivalent.

SEC. 2.5.

 Section 69433.9 of the Education Code is amended to read:

69433.9.
 To be eligible to receive a Cal Grant award under this chapter, a student shall be all of the following:
(a) One of the following:
(1) A citizen of the United States.
(2) An eligible noncitizen, as defined for purposes of financial aid programs under Title IV of the federal Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1070 et seq., as from time to time amended).
(3) A noncitizen who has filed an I-589 Application for Asylum and has a valid employment authorization document and social security number.
(b) In compliance with all applicable Selective Service registration requirements.
(c) Not in default on any student loan within the meaning of Section 69507.5.
(d) (1) For purposes of Article 2 (commencing with Section 69434), Article 3 (commencing with Section 69435), and Article 4 (commencing with Section 69436), except as provided in subdivision (d) of Section 69436, at the time of high school graduation or its equivalent, a resident of California.
(2) A student who does not meet the requirements for a high school diploma or its equivalent in the academic year immediately preceding the award year, but who meets the requirements for a high school diploma or its equivalent by December 31 of the academic year immediately following the date of application, satisfies any requirement for obtaining high school graduation or its equivalent for the purposes of this chapter as of the first day of the academic term immediately following the term in which the requirements for the high school diploma or its equivalent are met.
(3) No student shall receive an award for a term that begins prior to satisfying any requirement for obtaining high school graduation or its equivalent.

SEC. 3.

 Section 2.5 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 69433.9 of the Education Code proposed by both this bill and Senate Bill 575. That section of this bill shall only become operative if (1) both bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2020, (2) each bill amends Section 69433.9 of the Education Code, and (3) this bill is enacted after Senate Bill 575, in which case Section 2 of this bill shall not become operative.