wisconsin capitol
Press Release
July 8, 2015

Assembly Budget Packed With Giveaways for Special Interests, Nothing for One Million Wisconsin Student Loan Borrowers

Outrageous That Hard-Working Borrowers Are Being Left Behind by Assembly GOP, Gov. Walker

MADISON, Wis. — The 2015 state budget was written with Gov. Scott Walker’s presidential ambitions in mind and, as passed by the GOP-led State Assembly, packed with special interest favors – more tax cuts for the wealthiest and corporations, taking money directly away from K-12 public schools to give to unaccountable private voucher schools and giveaways to a big oil pipeline company and the predatory payday loan industry.

Meanwhile, a commonsense solution to help Wisconsin student loan borrowers by allowing them to refinance their loan, just like you can a mortgage, didn’t make the cut after all 63 Assembly Republicans voted against an amendment to add the provisions of the Higher Ed, Lower Debt Act to the budget.

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross blasted the inaction saying, “Student loan debt is a crisis for borrowers, their families and our entire state economy. But instead of helping borrowers, Gov. Walker wrote a budget to advance his presidential ambitions and Assembly Republicans piled on approving a budget full of special interest giveaways.”

In the 2013 legislative session and again in 2015 the Higher Ed, Lower Debt Act has been introduced to allow borrowers to refinance their student loan, just like you can a mortgage. The act would also give the middle class significant tax savings by expanding a state tax deduction to include student loan debt payments. The bill, introduced by Rep. Cory Mason and Sen. Dave Hansen has the support of 50 legislative cosponsors in 2015.

“Reducing the amount hundred of thousands of student loan borrowers are paying by allowing the ability to refinance their loans, just like you can a mortgage, is a way to jump start the Wisconsin economy. We know the billions of dollars in tax breaks for corporations and donors to Scott Walker’s political campaigns haven’t worked and we’re dead last in the midwest in jobs,” said Ross.

Original research by One Wisconsin Institute found Wisconsin borrowers reporting average student loan debt payments of $388 per month over a term of 18 to 22 years. This debt has a dramatic, negative economic on the state with borrowers significantly more likely to rent versus own their home and drive a used versus new vehicle than Wisconsinites without the burden of student loan debt.

Nationally there are an estimated 43 million student loan borrowers with over $1.3 trillion in debt. Statistics from the federal government released last year showed there were over 800,000 Wisconsin residents with federal student loan debt exceeding $18 billion.

Ross concluded, “Student loan borrowers have worked hard to get their education and took on the personal responsibility to pay for it. They’ve done the right thing and earned a fair shot at the middle class. That’s why it’s so outrageous that in Gov. Walker’s zeal to advance his own political ambitions and the Assembly Republicans’ propensity choose special interests over the middle class they’re being left behind.”

# # #

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

why courts matter usa map
Press Release

Judicial Advocates Raise Red Flags on Eve of U.S. Senate Hearing

State and national advocates raised red flags about both the views of Michael Brennan and the process by which he was nominated for a lifetime appointment.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
white silhouette of scales of justice overlaying supreme court bench
Press Release

Nomination of Michael Brennan Scheduled for Hearing Before Senate Committee

The wrong nominee, selected in the wrong way, being given a hearing in the wrong way. That’s how One Wisconsin Institute summed it up.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Institute
scot ross on joy reid 2018-01-21
In the News

Wisconsin polls: Democrat wins special election

A Wisconsin special election saw a Democrat win a district that had been Republican for almost 20 years. Joy Reid and her panel discuss.
dear democratic party abortion graphic
Press Release

Standing Up for Comprehensive Reproductive Health Care for Women

One Wisconsin Now has joined with fellow Progress Now affiliates in calling on the DNC to continue to stand strong on protection of abortion rights.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
michael screnock and scott walker smiling together
Press Release

Team Screnock = Team Walker

Michael Screnock worked to defend Gov. Scott Walker’s agenda in court, now Team Walker campaigns for Screnock’s Supreme Court race.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
wisconsin state capitol building at night
Press Release

Scott Walker to Call Special Session on Attacks on Poor, People of Color

Wisconsin Republicans led by Gov. Scott Walker announced a special session of the legislature devoted to renewed attacks on families struggling to get by.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
UNSPUN Screenshot
In the News

UNSPUN: Democratic Win in State Senate Special Election

Analysts discuss the Democratic win in a state Senate special election and fundraising numbers for Wisconsin gubernatorial candidates.
american flag
In the News

Wisconsin progressives need to build a bigger boat

The divisive, distracted, disappointing quarter century of Scott Walker as a Wisconsin elected official could mean progressives will need a bigger boat in 2018.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel