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UC Berkeley May Enroll Thousands More Students as Governor Signs New Legislation

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The University of California, Berkeley will no longer have to cut its student admissions for the fall after lawmakers quickly passed a bill to nullify the effects of a local lawsuit.

On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom (D) signed SB 118 – after it was unanimously approved by the state Assembly and Senate — to exempt state colleges and universities from an environmental law which was used by a group of neighbors to try to limit the expansion of the university.

As a result, the university will no longer have to freeze enrollment at its 2020-2021 levels, effectively preventing it from admitting some 3,000 students – or a third of his freshman class – by the fall.

“I am grateful to the Legislature for acting quickly on this critical issue – it sends a clear signal that California will not let lawsuits get in the way of the education and dreams of thousands of students, our future leaders and innovators,” Newsom he said in a statement, noting that the lawsuit and court orders would have “disproportionately affected students from disadvantaged or underrepresented backgrounds.”

In recent months, a series of court rulings favored the local group Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods, which sued the school about its expansion plans, arguing that enrolling more UC Berkeley students would have a negative impact on local housing prices and other environmental issues.

the new bill still includes requirements for campus long-range plans to be evaluated for their environmental impacts, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

On Monday, Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ said the school “will be we remain committed to continuing our efforts to address a student housing crisis through new construction of below-market housing.”

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

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