Skip to main content

California State Assembly Select Committee on Student Debt First Informational Hearing

For immediate release:

IRVINE, CA – Today, Friday, May 17, 2019, the California Assembly Select Committee on Student Debt chaired by Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris hosted the first informational hearing on the student debt crisis, bringing student borrower and expert voices to the forefront of this conversation. The event was co-hosted by NextGen Policy, Consumer Law Clinic at UC Irvine and the Associated Students of the University of California, Irvine (ASUCI).

“Student loan debt has spiraled out of control,” said Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris. “The ripple effects of this crisis are being felt all across our economy - young people are unable to buy homes, start businesses, and are even hesitant to start families. California is the first state to dedicate a legislative committee to the topic of student debt and we will work with the legislature and our partners to develop and implement real solutions.”

“Too many students in California are leaving college with the crushing burden of student loan debt, many without degrees to show for it,” said Tom Steyer, President of NextGen America. “California is leading the charge for student borrowers and their families, because we know addressing the student debt crisis starts with protecting borrowers.”

Video from the hearing can be viewed via or 

The hearing panelists included:

Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers
Saul Lopez-Pulido, Senate President, Associated Students of UC Irvine
Mike Pierce, Director of Policy & Managing Counsel, Student Borrower Protection Center
Rebecca Sanchez, Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships, UC Irvine
Meghan Waymire, Chief Governmental Officer, Associated Students at CSU Fullerton
Donnell Jones, Student Trustee, Long Beach City College District
Laura Szabo-Kubitz, Associate California Program Director, The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS)
Andrea Sandoval
, UC Santa Barbara Alum
Marina Awed, Former Western State College of Law Student
Rachel Greenbaum, Former Brooks Institute of Photography Student
William Schwarz, Former ITT Tech and Westwood College Student
Suzanne Martindale, Senior Policy Counsel & Western States Legislative Manager, Advocacy Division, Consumer Reports
Jonathan Glater, Professor of Law, University of California Irvine School of Law
Josephine Lee, Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA)

Across the Golden State, more than 3.7 million borrowers owe $142 billion in student debt. The hearing explored the barriers created by rising student debt levels and potential solutions for the millions of borrowers struggling with debt.