Sept. 12, 2017: ASSOCIATED PRESS - California leaders pledge $30M for young immigrants
By Sophia Bollag
California Gov. Jerry Brown and top lawmakers announced Tuesday that they plan to spend $30 million helping young immigrants with legal services and college financial aid.
The announcement comes in response to President Donald Trump's decision to end a program that gives temporary protection from deportation to people brought to the country illegally as children or by parents who overstayed visas. The proposal requires legislative approval this week before lawmakers head home for the year.
The Assembly and Senate acted on dozens of other proposals throughout the day, including criminal sentence reductions, lowering the voting age and barring employers from asking about applicants' salary history.
Both chambers will reconvene Wednesday for a full day of voting.
Of the $30 million for immigrant aid, $20 million would go toward legal services for participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program. Another $10 million would go toward financial aid for participants in the program, with $7 million for community college students, $2 million for California State University students and $1 million for University of California students.
More than 200,000 of the 800,000 DACA participants live in California.
The Trump administration plans to phase out the program over the next six months if Congress doesn't make it permanent. California is one of 19 states suing the Trump administration over the decision to end the program.
"We will not let one man with xenophobic tendencies undercut years of progress we have made in California to integrate these young adults into our society and economy," state Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat, said in a statement. "California is their home and they are our future."
Other action taken by California lawmakers Tuesday included:
—Rejecting a proposed constitutional amendment to lower California's voting age to 17 in all elections, including presidential.
Supporters in the Assembly said it would instill a greater sense of civic duty among teenagers, but detractors questioned whether 17 year olds are ready for the responsibility of voting. It failed 46 to 23.
—Voting to bar employers, including state and local governments, from asking job applicants to disclose their salary history. The legislation passed the Senate and needs final Assembly approval before going to Brown.
It also bans employers from relying on an applicant's past salaries when deciding whether to hire them and what to pay them. That prohibition doesn't hold if an applicant willingly discloses his or her past salaries.
—Passing bills to ease criminal penalties on some offenders. The Assembly gave final approval to a bill that would eliminate allowing judges to impose an additional three-year sentence on repeat drug offenders.
Democratic Sen. Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles, a co-author, said officials should concentrate instead on prevention and rehabilitation.
The chamber also approved a bill allowing juvenile offenders to ask a judge to seal records of crimes committed before turning 17, sending it to the Senate. Supporters of SB312 say more than 2,000 youthful offenders are currently barred by a 2000 ballot initiative from sealing the records of crimes they committed after they turned 14.
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