State News

State lawmaker criticizes Wisconsin GOP for not considering loan refinancing bill

State Sen. Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, blasted Republicans in a press release Wednesday. 

Image By: Thomas Yonash

A state Democratic senator said Wednesday that Wisconsin Republicans aren’t going far enough to protect students from the burden of student loans.

Student loan debt has been steadily rising in recent years. In addition to a diploma, the average student in Wisconsin graduates with $30,000 in debt, according to state Sen. Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse.

High levels of debt are making it increasingly hard for Wisconsinites to buy a car, purchase a home and start a family, according to Shilling.

Shilling, along with other Democrats in the Legislature, are pushing their bill titled “Higher Ed, Lower Debt” that would allow university students to refinance their loans like people refinance their cars.

Republicans, however, have not showed interest in supporting the proposal.

“It is disappointing that Republicans are refusing to tackle Wisconsin’s student loan debt crisis, and the best action they can come up with is still, ‘Call your bank,’” Shilling said in a press release.

Republicans, however, aim to solve the problem of loan debt by proposing a larger budget in 2017-’19 for the Wisconsin Grants program, the state’s merit and need-based scholarship program.

This larger budget would attribute an additional $5.69 million to the UW System, totaling $61.39 million available to be distributed in the form of need-based aid.

Despite each party's proposal, a solution has yet to be solidified. 

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