SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Recently proposed legislation in California would allow homeless students at all California Community Colleges to park their cars in campus parking lots overnight.

Assembly Bill 302, introduced by Assemblyman Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto), intends to give all homeless students attending a California Community College a place to sleep at night. Subsequently, if the bill is passed, California Community Colleges [CCC] with parking facilities would be required to allow students to park overnight.

Berman claims the bill would give homeless students an additional level of security. Currently, the bill has not been heard by the appropriations committee, so there is no estimate of the costs. However, according to Berman, there may be costs associated with implementing overnight parking, which will vary campus to campus.

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Several community colleges have already taken their stance on the bill, either supporting it outright or deciding to do some research about how the legislation before commenting. Gabe Ross, a spokesperson for the Los Rios Community College District, says since the bill is so new, the district has not taken a formal position on it at this point.

“We don’t yet know enough about the details of implementation,” Ross said, adding, however, he agrees housing insecurity and homelessness are very serious issues that many students struggling with daily. “We are glad to see such a concerted effort around the state, and by local leaders here in Sacramento, to tackle this complicated and challenging issue… we’ll wait and learn more about the specific implications for our district before weighing in.”

Meantime, if the bill passes, the only requirements for students to be able to sleep in their parked car would be to be in good standing with the school and have enrollment fees paid.

The bill will be heard by the Committee on Higher Education on Friday, March 1. Berman’s goal is to have it signed into law this year.

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