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Congresswoman Karen Bass

Representing the 37th District of California

Rep. Bass Introduces Legislation to Enable More Students Attend College

November 20, 2013
Press Release

(Washington DC) Today, Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA) announced that she has joined with Reps. Danny Davis (D-IL) and Bobby Scott (D-VA) in introducing legislation that will open up affordable college education to tens of thousands of American students.  HR 3510, the “Stopping Unfair Collateral Consequences from Ending Student Success Act” (SUCCESS Act), will reduce recidivism, over-criminalization, and tax-payer burdens by stopping the suspension of college aid for students who want to pursue a college education after a petty drug offense.

“For years federal law has refused financial support for thousands of students hoping to attain a college degree because they made a mistake in their youth,” said Rep. Bass. “Republicans and Democrats agree that this law is not effective and unnecessary, and it is time for it to be removed from law.”

HR 3510 repeals Section 484, Subsection R of the Higher Education Act of 1965, which asks applicants for federal financial aid to indicate if they have been convicted of a drug offense. If the answer is anything other than “no” then applicants are ineligible for financial aid until they complete an approved drug rehabilitation program or pass two random drug tests. As a result, hundreds of thousands of poor and middle-class students have been denied needed financial aid for continuing their education.

President George W. Bush Administration officials called this section of federal law was “unnecessary.” Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Marcia Fudge (D-OH) and Frederica Wilson (D-FL) also joined as co-sponsors.