State Sen. Jennifer Shilling
Press Release

Dem Student Loan relief plan rejected by GOP

State budget committee fails to address growing student loan debt crisis

By - May 23rd, 2017 04:30 pm

MADISON, WI – With nearly one million Wisconsin residents owing a combined $19 billion in student loan debt, Democratic lawmakers continue to push for solutions to lower interest rates and target relief to students and families. On Tuesday, Democratic lawmakers on the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee introduced a comprehensive plan that would allow individuals to refinance student loans at lower interest rates and expand tax credits for families with student loan debt.

“It’s no secret that Wisconsin’s economy has struggled over the last six years,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “As Republican cuts to schools and universities have piled up, student loan debt has skyrocketed and our state has lagged in job creation. We should be doing everything in our power to lower student loan debt and create opportunities for entrepreneurs and business start-ups to get off the ground.”

The Democratic budget proposal mirrored the Higher Ed, Lower Debt Bill and would have allowed families to refinance student loan debt at lower interest rates similar to options currently available for home mortgages and car loans. While the proposal to lower student loan debt and expand refinancing options is overwhelmingly supported by the public, Republican majority members on the committee rejected the plan outright.

“For years, students and graduates have been begging for relief from high student loan interest rates and crushing debt,” said Shilling. “While Democrats want to level the playing field, expand education opportunities and encourage individuals to pursue their dreams, Republican politicians continue to side with powerful Wall Street banks and block relief efforts. The growing student loan debt crisis isn’t going away – it’s getting worse. Rather than obstructing progress and ignoring the challenges facing Wisconsin families, Democrats will continue to stand up to the special interests and fight for solutions that help hardworking families achieve the American Dream.”

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2 thoughts on “Dem Student Loan relief plan rejected by GOP”

  1. AG says:

    I wish the Republicans would see state loan refinancing as the economic investment that it is, rather than an entitlement program for those who don’t need it.

    I certainly agree that many people who have students loans don’t actually need the refinancing if they made intelligent financial decisions. At the same time, I see this as being a win for both the state and former students that could have minimal cost and huge positive effects.

  2. myfivecents says:

    Why is it that Republicans are pushing people to get skills and get jobs, but won’t do anything constructive that would help them do that. Then they turn around and drum up ideas for kicking them off of any other program that is helping them, like food share, child care, help paying utilities, etc. Do they really want them to succeed or do they want a slave labor class that they can force to work for minimal dollars to appease their rich business benefactors. They seem to want it both ways at the same time and work really hard at keeping this constant conflict going.

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