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    This page contains bill sponsorships in the Senate and House. Bill sponsorships indicate the topics that legislators are most interested in, and spend the most time on.

15-S1716 on Jul 8, 2015

Bill Sponsorship: making two years of community college free
Source: America's College Promise Act
Excerpts from press release from Tammy Baldwin, Senate sponsor: The America's College Promise Act makes two years of community college free by:
  • Providing a federal match of $3 for every $1 invested by the state to waive community college tuition and fees for eligible students;
  • Ensuring that programs offer academic credits which are fully transferable to four-year institutions in their state;
  • Establishing a new grant program to provide pathways to success at minority-serving institutions by helping them cover a significant portion of tuition and fees for the first two years of attendance for low-income students.
Community, technical, and tribal colleges enroll 40% of all college students today. Community colleges are uniquely positioned to partner with employers to create tailored training programs to meet economic needs within their communities such as nursing and advanced manufacturing.

Opposing argument: (Cato Institute, "College Courtesy of the Taxpayer? No Thanks," Jan. 9, 2015): One look at either community college outcomes or labor market outlooks reveals free college to be educational folly. Community college completion rates are atrocious: a mere 19.5% of community college students complete their programs. Meanwhile, the for-profit sector has an almost 63% completion rate. And [about 70%] of the new job categories in coming years will require a high school diploma or less.

Opposing argument: (Heritage Foundation, "Free Community College Is a Bad Deal", July 15, 2016): Free college proposals would subject community colleges to the same types of subsidies-induced inflation endemic at four-year institutions. And low-income students already have access to federal Pell Grants, which can cover the bulk of community college tuition. By contrast, a more open market of alternative schooling models, such as online or vocational education programs, could better tailor degrees at a lower cost. Also see House version H.R..2962


    Participating counts on VoteMatch question 27. Scores: -2=Strongly oppose; -1=Oppose; 0=neutral; 1=Support; 2=Strongly support.
  • Topic: Education
  • Headline: Make two years of community college free (Score: 2)

  • Key for participation codes:
  • Sponsorships: p=sponsored; o=co-sponsored; s=signed
  • Memberships: c=chair; m=member; e=endorsed; f=profiled; s=scored
  • Resolutions: i=introduced; w=wrote; a=adopted
  • Cases: w=wrote; j=joined; d=dissented; c=concurred
  • Surveys: '+' supports; '-' opposes.



Democrats participating in 15-S1716

Tammy Baldwin s2pWI Democratic ChallengerJul 8, 2015
Richard Blumenthal s1sCT Democratic Sr SenatorSep 29, 2015
Cory Booker s1sNJ Democratic ChallengerJul 8, 2015
Barbara Boxer s1sCA Democratic Jr Senator (retiring 2016)Jul 9, 2015
Sherrod Brown s1sOH Democratic Sr SenatorJul 8, 2015
Benjamin Cardin s1sMaryland DemocratJul 8, 2015
Richard Durbin s1sIL Democratic Sr SenatorJul 8, 2015
Kirsten Gillibrand s1sNew York DemocratJul 13, 2015
Martin Heinrich s1sNew Mexico Democrat (Senate run 2012)Jul 8, 2015
Mazie Hirono s1sHawaii Democrat (Senate run 2012)Jul 8, 2015
Patrick Leahy s1sVT Democratic Sr SenatorJul 8, 2015
Robert Menendez s1sNew Jersey DemocratOct 5, 2015
Jeff Merkley s1sOR Democratic Jr SenatorJul 9, 2015
Debbie Stabenow s1sMI Democratic Jr SenatorJul 8, 2015
Sheldon Whitehouse s1sRI Democratic Jr Senator, previously attorney generalJul 8, 2015



Republicans participating in 15-S1716



Independents participating in 15-S1716



Total recorded by OnTheIssues:

Democrats: 15
Republicans: 0
Independents: 0


















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