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20110505_HA_dream_act2413.JPGGov. Jerry Brown, who is expected to sign landmark "Dream Act" legislation this year, said Wednesday that he is seeking to first "make some adjustments" to the bill to reduce costs.

The Democratic governor last month signed one of two "Dream Act" bills, Assembly Bill 130, which allows students who are in the country illegally but qualify for in-state tuition to apply for private financial aid. The broader Assembly Bill 131 would let those students seek public financial aid, including Cal Grants.

AB 131, by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, is estimated to cost the state about $13 million annually in Cal Grants.

"We're looking at a way to structure that to get better control of costs," Brown said when asked by The Fresno Bee's editorial board on Wednesday if he would sign Assembly Bill 131. "But in general, I definitely think the more people we can get in our colleges and universities who have the qualifications, the better off we're going to be in producing the wealth we need."

Cedillo said this morning that he is mindful of the state's "very limited resources" and is working with the governor's office to modify the bill. He said he still expects it to be passed by the Legislature this session and signed by Brown.

Asked what modifications might be made, Cedillo said, "Let us work it out."

Brown's predecessor, Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, vetoed similar legislation. Brown has been supportive of it since last year's gubernatorial campaign.

PHOTO CREDIT: Maria Luna, 23, of Sacramento, who is undocumented, wears her graduation cap from Sacramento State on Thursday, May 5, 2011, in support of Assembly Bill 130 in the Assembly balcony. Hector Amezcua / Sacramento Bee

Editor's note: Comments on this post were closed Aug. 18 because of inappropriate comments containing personal attacks and racist language.


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