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STOCKTON, Calif. -- San Joaquin Delta College student Jagit Riat needs no convincing Stockton is long over due for a public university or college of its own.
"I mean obviously moving away and paying for rent can be pretty expensive. So, it could be a pretty good opportunity to stay here," says Riat.
Making it a possibility is new legislation co-authored by Stockton state Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton).
Eggman and two other lawmakers have authored Assembly Bill 13, known as the Higher Education Facilities Bond Act of 2020.
It would generate $7 billion to finance projects for California State University and University of California schools for student housing, maintenance, as well as improvements to existing campuses.
The money would also be used towards the potential development of new campuses, such as in Stockton.
"Given the fact we are one of the least educated communities in the United States, only 17% of adults over the age of 25 have a bachelors degree or higher, I think that this is an equity issue. We need an investment in higher education," says Lange Luntao, board president of the Stockton Unified School District Board of Trustees.
Last year, 31,000 students were turned away from CSU schools because campuses were full.
San Joaquin Delta College students, like Andrew Zapien, a business major, says it would make transferring to a four-year school much more affordable.
"I think that it would be good for all of us students who don't have like money to transfer," says Andrew Zapien.
Stockton is still a long way from becoming home to a new university campus. Similar legislation failed to make it on this year's statewide ballot. AB 13 must get a two-thirds approval of both houses of the state legislature. It then must be signed by the Governor.
Finally, it will go before a vote of the people of California in 2020. A simple majority vote is needed to pass the bond measure.
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