SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A bid to close a $1 billion corporate tax loophole in exchange for providing tuition relief for middle class Californians has failed at the end of the legislative session.

Democratic Assembly Speaker John Perez made passage of the package his top priority this year.

His bill previously squeaked through the Assembly with a two-thirds vote, but he was unable to persuade enough Republicans in the Senate to reach that threshold. It fell five votes short of the 27 needed early Saturday morning.

The bill would have eliminated a tax break for out-of-state corporations approved in 2009. The money would have funded a scholarship program for college students whose families earn less than $150,000.

In a statement, Perez said the Senate missed an opportunity to help the middle class.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.)


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