Wednesday March 20, 2019

Forward with Education & Reason


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student-loansGov. Scott Walker’s Opposition to the State's Higher Ed., Lower Debt bill sponsored by local Senator Dave Hansen for Student Loan Refinancing will continue to be a drag on Wisconsin's economy.

MADISON - While Governor Scott Walker tried to frame his State of the State speech last night as a pledge to return to a reasonable level in investment in K-12 education and college, he had little new to offer the over 815,000 Wisconsin residents holding some type of student loans.

Walker's plan to solve the student loan problem was mostly summarized in his speech last night when he said "we helped make college more affordable at our University of Wisconsin campuses as we froze tuition".

The student loan crisis is perhaps the biggest issue facing our state today. Its impact on the economy costs businesses and our economy hundreds of millions of dollars per year and the jobs those millions would create.

Nearly 60% of student loan holders in Wisconsin are over the age of 30, the age at which people look to start families, buy new homes and cars. Research has shown that the student loan crisis is costing our economy over $200 million per year in lost new car sales alone.

dave-hansenTinkering around the edges with a plan that ignores the needs of 97% of student loan holders in the state does nothing to help the hundreds of thousands of people struggling under the weight of crushing student loan debt except leave them at the mercy of Wall Street.

According to Senator Dave Hansen of Green Bay, co-author of the State's Higher Ed., Lower Debt bill to allow families to refinance their loans at lower interest rates, Walker’s opposition to reasonable student loan refinancing will continue to be a drag on Wisconsin's economy.

“The Governor’s opposition to allowing the refinancing of student loans will continue to be a drag on our economy and will increase brain drain as new and recent graduates move to states like Minnesota where they can find better paying jobs and lower interest rates on their student loans,” says Hansen.

The time has come for action on the student loan crisis, not more rhetoric.


Legislative staffer Jay Wadd contributed to this story.

Written by GBP Staff   

minnesotaandwisconsinThis week as we prepare for Governor Walker’s State of the State address, Sen. Vinehout writes about the State of our State compared to Minnesota. Our neighbor to the west leads states in many rankings and Wisconsin lawmakers would be wise to follow Minnesota’s lead.

Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   

capitol-dome-mdsnDemocratic proposals on school funding, broadband and student loan debt gain support.

MADISON – With a public approval rating at 31 percent and lingering opposition to Gov. Walker’s presidential campaign, many Republican lawmakers have found themselves in a difficult position. In an effort to shift attention away from troubling poll numbers and disappointing job losses, Republican lawmakers are turning to a new source for policy ideas: Democrats.

jennifer-shilling“For five years, Republican legislators followed Gov. Walker’s lead in cutting local school funding, limiting access to health care and rejecting investments for broadband projects,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “As a result of these misplaced priorities, we’ve seen family wages decline, a shrinking middle class and mass layoffs at a five year high. While it’s taken them a few years to recognize the growing challenges in our state, I appreciate that Republicans are finally looking at Democratic ideas that will jump start our economy and strengthen Wisconsin’s middle class.”

Complicating matters for legislators who want to see progress on these issues is the fact that Republican leaders are planning to adjourn the legislative floor period as early as February or March. This leaves a short window to pass an ambitious agenda and follow through on unresolved promises to strengthen school accountability, overhaul the state’s troubled jobs agency and pass a long-term transportation funding fix.

“Senate Democrats continue to push our comprehensive Badger Blueprint agenda which includes a wide range of bold, forward-looking pro-growth initiatives that invest in education, infrastructure and economic development,” added Shilling. “In order to move Wisconsin forward, we need innovative solutions on student loan debt like Sen. Dave Hansen’s Higher Ed., Lower Debt bill to allow families to refinance their loans at lower interest rates. We need to restore rural broadband investments like Sen. Kathleen Vinehout has championed for years. And we need to restore the funding for rural schools that have seen some of the largest cuts from Republicans in Madison. With a short window of opportunity, we need swift action on these priorities and not just legislative lip-service.”

Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats   
Page 299 of 319

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