Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis Statement on Governor Signing College Affordability and Accessibility Legislation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
Contact:
Press – 916-445-8994

Los Angeles, CA – Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis released the following statement today in response to Governor Newsom’s Higher Education package bill signing and the California Comeback Plan’s historic $47.1 billion investment in higher education:

“As California’s lieutenant governor, I know our economic success has been underpinned by our shared belief in the value of education. We understand that talent can come from anywhere and that, to allow talent to rise to the top, we must keep the doors of educational opportunity open to all.

“California’s historic investment of $47.1 billion in higher education is a recognition of just that.  Today’s announcement positions California to harness the power of our world-class public higher education to meet challenges like an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, future workforce demands and ensure that our system of public higher education is truly serving California students.

“I am especially proud to see Assemblymember Berman’s AB 1111 and AB 928 signed into law today, two student-centered bills I was proud to cosponsor. As a member of the California Community College Board of Governors, I have heard from countless students that the differences in the current course numbering system have created barriers to timely completion, transfer, and can unintentionally set students back. AB 1111 will make it easier for CCC students to transfer and earn their degree. And AB 928 marks a critical step towards streamlining the pathway to a four-year degree.”

According to the Public Policy Institute of California, more than 3 out of every 4 students entering the community college system declare transfer as their goal, but only 4% of those students do so in two years, and only 19% of students transfer in four years. AB 928 will strengthen and streamline our transfer system by charting a clear path for community college students to transfer to a four-year college, saving students time and money.

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Eleni Kounalakis is the 50th lieutenant governor of California and the first woman elected to the position. From 2010 to 2013, Kounalakis served as President Barack Obama’s Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary. In 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom designated Kounalakis as his Representative for International Affairs and Trade Development, and as Chair of the corresponding Interagency Committee that oversees the state’s trade, investment and international relations. Kounalakis is also Chair of the three-member State Lands Commission, and a voting member of the University of California Board of Regents, the California State University Board of Trustees, and the California Community Colleges Board of Governors.