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Signature-gathering for an initiative its backers have dubbed as “The College for All Act of 2018” will begin Friday at the Southern California Library in South Los Angeles.

The initiative would provide financial aid to cover tuition and increase funding for living expenses for all in-state undergraduate students at University of California and California State University campuses and community colleges.

The financial aid would be financed by a dedicated tax — ranging from 12 percent to 22 percent depending on value — on estate property in California valued at $3.5 million or more and transferred upon death. Backers say the only the wealthiest 0.2 percent of California households would be subject to the tax, which would raise over 3 billion dollars a year. The initiative requires that the revenue would supplement and not replace existing financial aid programs for college students.

Valid signatures from 585,407 registered voters — 8 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2014 general election — must be submitted by June 13 to qualify the measure for the November ballot, according to Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

—City News Service

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