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Pushed 2 Bills Tomorrow Tuition Today Prices

Competing bills have been introduced in the California legislature that would allow parents to pay for college tuition at today's prices.

Legislation has been introduced to allow parents to pay for their children's college tuition at today's prices, through a prepaid tuition bill by an Assembly Democrat and a Senate Republican. Assemblyman Tom Hayden (D-Santa Monica) had a similar bill vetoed last year by Gov. George Deukmejian, who was concerned about the state's obligations if the investment program fell short of its goals. Hayden's bill would have allowed parents to pay tuition in installments years in advance, if they wish, at then-prevailing tuition rates. Alternatively, parents could purchase state savings bonds that could be cashed upon maturity at any state college or university.

Senator John Seymour (R-Anaheim) has introduced a bill that seeks to reduce the financial responsibility of the state. Under Seymour's plan, private financial institutions would manage the savings bonds on the parents' behalf, guaranteeing a return equal to an estimate of the yearly rise in the cost of attending college. If the investment did not perform as expected, the institutions, rather than the state, would be expected to make up the difference. Seymour's bill has received a "cautious green light" from the Administration and the Department of Finance, but spokesmen for the governor and the Department of Finance refused to take a position on the bill.

Hayden has introduced a bill identical to last year's vetoed proposal and is working to address the governor's concerns. A report released by Hayden's subcommittee found that more than half of all California undergraduate students borrowed money in 1985 to finance their educations. Seymour emphasized the importance of saving for college education, as tuition costs continue to rise.

The bills seek to address the growing concern among parents that they will not be able to send their children to college due to the rising costs. Seymour's bill takes into account the cost of housing and course supplies, in addition to tuition, and aims to encourage families to save for college education.

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