State Senate Democratic Committee
Press Release

At The Top of Their Class

Senate Democrats receive highest honors on Student Loan Scorecard.

By - Oct 24th, 2016 12:50 pm
Money and Student Debt. Image by Paul Ritz.

Money and Student Debt. Image by Paul Ritz.

MADISON, WI – With nearly one million Wisconsin residents carrying over $19 billion in student loan debt, the issue of debt relief has become a major focal point in the 2016 election. A new Student Loan Voter Scorecard recently released by the non-partisan One Wisconsin Institute evaluated the positions taken by state legislators. 13 Democratic State Senators, including the top three leaders in the Senate Democratic caucus, received a 100% rating.

“Anyone paying attention and listening to Wisconsin families knows that the student loan debt crisis is one of the biggest challenges facing young adults, parents and entrepreneurs in our state,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “Every year, thousands of college students graduate with mountains of debt while Wall Street banks reap massive profits. It’s unsustainable.”

“As a result of student loan debt, a lot of voters I talk to say they can’t afford to buy a new car, purchase a home, launch a start-up business or even plan a family,” said Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay). “I authored the Higher Ed, Lower Debt Bill because families should be allowed to refinance their student loans just like you can with a home mortgage or car loan. It’s time we start targeting relief to families that need help the most rather than sending more money to wealthy special interests.”

“By addressing the student loan debt crisis now, we can help more families keep more of their money in the local economy,” added Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point). “People are paying attention and looking for leaders who will have their back when it comes to student loan debt relief.”

The non-partisan One Wisconsin Institute has been a prominent voice in the fight for student loan debt relief. In addition to recognizing the effort of legislative leaders who fought for student loan debt relief, the scorecard also highlighted the fact that Gov. Walker and Republican politicians failed to pass a single piece of legislation lowering interest rates or reducing monthly debt payments.

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