In this April 4, 2011 file photo is Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Hesperia, in Sacramento. Donnelly, who previously sought the right to carry a loaded weapon inside the state Capitol has been cited for trying to bring a loaded handgun onto a Sacramento-bound flight. Transportation Security Administration spokesman Nico Melendez says Donnelly had a Colt .45 with four rounds in it inside his carry-on luggage at Ontario International Airport. He says another magazine with five rounds also was in Donnelly’s carry-on bag. The lawmaker was passing through a security checkpoint at 6:45 a.m. Wednesday. (Associated Press file photo)

By Neil Nisperos, Staff Writer
Created: 01/06/2012 10:52:55 AM PST

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly said Friday the effort to repeal the California Dream Act had fallen short of gathering enough signatures needed to get on the ballot.

The legislation, which goes into effect in 2013, gives undocumented students in California the opportunity to apply for financial aid.

“Despite an incredible effort by tens of thousands of volunteers working alongside professional petition gatherers, I regret to announce that we have not met our goal to collect 504,760 valid signatures in under 90 days,” Donnelly said.

Donnelly blamed the shortfall on not having had enough time to collect signatures. He had earlier expected 800,000 would sign up.

Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, who introduced the legislation, said he was happy the people of California have chosen not to repeal the California Dream Act.

“This is good for California’s economy,” Cedillo said. “We have rejected the lies, the misstatements, the hate and divisiveness of this proposal.”

Angelica Salas, executive director of the coalition for humane immigration rights based on Los Angeles, said the ability for undocumented college students to access student financial aid is sensible legislation.

“This is evidenced by the Assemblyman Donnelly unable to get the required number of valid signatures on the ballot,” she said.

Signature-collection events had been scheduled up and down the state through this month. While the effort fell short, Donnelly said the fight against the new legislation isn’t over.

Donnelly and campaign coordinators on Friday discussed beginning another repeal effort this year. It’s unclear when or how it may begin, but the initiative process is among the options.

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