Assemblywoman Smith College Affordability Bill Signed into Law

Thursday, June 27, 2019

SACRAMENTO, CA — Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D-Santa Clarita) is pleased to announce Assembly Bill (AB) 853 was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom this week. The bill addresses college affordability and allows for the ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plan to directly pay for living expenses such as rent.

“The opportunity for a better life often lies with access to education, but burdensome costs associated with college often prevent and deter bright young minds from advancing their education,” Assemblywoman Smith said. “I’m proud my first bill signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom will help students pursue their dreams and curiosities in college. Thank you to California State Treasurer Fiona Ma for your partnership!”

Currently, the ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plan helps families and individuals plan for the ever-rising costs of college. AB 853 grants ScholarShare 529 accounts the ability to make payments to third parties overseeing living expenses and other basic needs for students, in addition to institutions of higher education.

"This will really help minimize the student loan debt crisis," State Treasurer Fiona Ma, sponsor of AB 853, said. "It makes it easier for parents and plan participants to pay for higher education expenses efficiently by allowing direct payments to third party vendors.”

AB 853 takes effect on January 1, 2020.

Assemblywoman Christy Smith represents California’s 38th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Santa Clarita, Simi Valley, Agua Dulce, Castaic, Santa Susana Knolls and North San Fernando Valley.

CONTACT:, (661) 286-1565