Lt. Col. (ret.) Gabe Griess Announces Public Education Funding Plan

Gabe address UC Davis college students and community members/ Photo by Alex Cornell du Houx
Gabe address UC Davis college students and community members/ Photo by Alex Cornell du Houx

Taking the next step in his campaign, Air Force veteran and state senate candidate Lt. Col. Gabe Griess announced his plans Tuesday to a room packed full of students at UC Davis.

“To make college affordable we have to cut tuition, and guarantee three percent student loans so students can pay for college by working during the summers. These students will become the innovators and leaders of tomorrow, they are our future,” said Griess.

To fund his education plan Griess will use money from taxing legalized marijuana. “For our security, now and far into the future, I will ensure tax revenue from legalized marijuana pays for this plan, while safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our citizens,” said Griess.

Students in California are paying three times more for a public four-year degree than their 1992 counterparts. This does not include expenses such as room, board, books and class-specific extra fees, according to an analysis done by KQED.

“College debt is holding our dreams hostage,” said third year student Alissa Yum, who attended the rally. “College debt limits our job opportunities to only those that will pay the bills and not necessarily what we’re passionate about.”

Nationally students have more than $1.2 trillion in outstanding student loan debt.

“As a recent college graduate I am faced with finding a way to pay off my loans rather than focus on my career, said recent graduate Neelam Kumar, who attended the rally. “It limits us from starting a business, volunteering or trying to do anything entrepreneurial.”

In 2010, almost half of California freshmen took out a student loan — ten years earlier, only one-third did so. The average loan amount for freshmen in California increased 36 percent (adjusted for inflation) between 2005 and 2010, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.

Griess said he believes, for many graduates, the ability to repay college loans and manage life expense is challenging in today’s economy and job market.

Griess grew up in a farming community where his parents were teachers. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy and was assigned to navigate C-130 Super Hercules aircraft after graduation and was later deployed to Afghanistan. He is a board member with the Solano Community College Educational Foundation, Rebuilding Together Solano, Vacaville Rotary Club, and a trustee with the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post.

Gabe Griess talking with UC Davis college students about college debt/ Photo by Alex Cornell du Houx
Gabe Griess talking with UC Davis college students about college debt/ Photo by Alex Cornell du Houx

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1 Comment

  1. The Pugilist

    Wow did anyone read this article?  “To fund his education plan Griess will use money from taxing legalized marijuana.”  He’s going to cut college costs by taxing marijuana.  Out of the box thinking I suppose.

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