wisconsin capitol
Press Release
January 21, 2016

Gov. Walker and Republicans’ Student Debt Scheme Denies Any Help to Lower Borrowers’ Monthly Payments

Giving Themselves a Political Talking Point Instead of Delivering Common Sense Reform

MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans in the State Legislature are fast-tracking legislation they claim helps deal with the student debt crisis and college affordability. But, as One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross pointed out in his testimony to the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities, Walker’s scheme denies any help lowering the monthly payments of current borrowers.

“The student loan debt crisis is a $19 billion nightmare for one million Wisconsinites and their families. It prevents them from purchasing new cars and a home of their own. It stymies consumer spending and stifles new job creation,” said Ross. “And make no mistake, none of these bills will reduce by one cent the monthly student loan payments of Wisconsin student loan borrowers.”

In contrast Ross noted the Higher Ed, Lower Debt Act, introduced in the 2013 session and again in June 2015 that is currently being blocked from consideration by the GOP controlled legislature, would create a state authority to help borrowers refinance their student loans, just like you can with a mortgage. The measure also extends a state tax break to payments on student loans that could provide an annual tax benefit of over $530 for an individual or $1,000 for a couple and provides additional consumer information about higher education loans.

A report by the White House on a federal student loan refinancing plan showed that 515,000 of the current 812,000 Wisconsinites with just federal student loan debt would immediately see lower interest rates, reducing their monthly payments.

Meanwhile Walker and the GOP legislature have pursued a trifecta of wrong-headed policy choices that have left Wisconsin with the third highest percentage of 2014 college graduates with student debt in the nation. A recent memo from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau notes that funding for the University of Wisconsin System and Technical Colleges has been reduced by nearly $1 billion when compared to the year before Walker entered office. In addition Walker and the Republican majority hiked tuition by 11% in their budget and so woefully underfunded financial aid that 41,000 students eligible for aid received none.

Ross concluded, “Common sense reforms are before the legislature – like helping lower hard working student loan borrowers monthly payments by allowing their loans to be refinanced, just like you can with mortgage. But instead Scott Walker and his legislative cronies are selling a bill of goods that provides them with a talking point while denying any real help to one million Wisconsin borrowers.”

# # #

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

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
01/19/2018
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
01/19/2018
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
01/18/2018
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.
WMTV-TV
01/17/2018
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
01/12/2018
wisconsin capitol
Press Release

Scott Walker Hypocrisy Reaches ‘Biblical Proportions’

Scott Walker has failed to express remorse for his own appearance as a featured speaker sharing a stage with white nationalists at a conference three weeks ago.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
01/08/2018
scott walker
Press Release

Gov. Scott Walker Praises Creators of Student Loan Debt Crisis

Scott Walker, who opposes a common sense student loan refinance plan, is “honoring” one of the nation’s most worst actors in the student loan crisis, Sallie Mae.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
01/05/2018
adam jarchow student loan debt
Press Release

Rep. Adam Jarchow Stars as ‘Jar Jar Banks’ In 10th Senate District Run

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross suggested Rep. Adam Jarchow has earned the moniker “Jar Jar Banks” for choosing banks over student loan borrowers.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
01/05/2018