Rep. Wachs Votes for Meaningful Relief for College Students, Loan Borrowers
Republicans reject several Democratic alternatives, offer nothing more than election-year Band-Aids
MADISON – Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire), the ranking Democratic member on the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities, voted for several Democratic proposals that would provide real relief for current college students and the more than one million Wisconsin borrowers with student loan debt. Wisconsin ranks third-worst in the nation in student loan debt (Institute for College Access & Success, 2015 report), yet committee Republicans still voted to reject these Democratic alternatives.
“I am proud to support meaningful financial relief for the hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin citizens saddled with student loan debt,” Rep. Wachs said. “Student loan debt is holding back our economy, and our proposals to invest in our students and schools – while lowering monthly payments for borrowers – will boost the middle class and small businesses by putting more money into the pockets of hardworking Wisconsinites.”
The amendments Rep. Wachs voted for would:
- Allow borrowers to refinance their student loan debt, just like a car loan or mortgage;
- Invest an additional $27 million in technical colleges;
- Expand the emergency grant program to students at four-year campuses; and
- Provide need-based grants to students participating in unpaid internships.
“There is only one real solution to providing relief to the one million Wisconsinites with student loan debt – the Democratic ‘Higher Ed, Lower Debt’ proposal, a common-sense, popular plan that will grow our economy and our middle class,” Rep. Wachs said. “Unfortunately, Republicans have put forward nothing more than election-year Band-Aid proposals that do little to address the student debt crisis. I will continue to fight for my constituents and advance significant relief for students and borrowers because this issue is too important to ignore.”
The anemic plan Governor Walker and legislative Republicans put forward pales in comparison to their massive cuts to education and job training. According to a recent memo from the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Republicans have cut more than $2 billion in state funding from our public schools, universities and technical schools over the past five years.
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This legislation uses draconian sanctions to try to strong-arm students into staying silent.