wisconsin capitol
Press Release
August 15, 2016
Media Contact
Mike Browne, Deputy Director
(608) 444-3483
Cody Oliphant

One Wisconsin Now Sponsored Mobile Billboard Encourages People to Tell Wisconsin Senator to Get in Gear and Support Student Loan Debt Reforms

While UW-Madison Students Are on the Move, Sen. Ron Johnson Remains Stuck in Reverse on College Affordability

MADISON, Wis. — Allowing student loan borrowers to refinance their loans, just like you can with a mortgage, and providing financial aid for eligible students are common sense measures to make higher education affordable for Wisconsinites. With UW-Madison students on the move August 14 and 15 and student debt topping $1.3 trillion, One Wisconsin Now unveiled a mobile billboard noting U.S. Sen Ron Johnson remains opposed to college affordability efforts.

“On the critical issue of student debt and college affordability, Sen. Ron Johnson could not be worse,” said One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. “He opposes federal financial aid for students, voted multiple times against allowing graduates to refinance their loans just like you can a mortgage and proposed more for-profit colleges as a solution to the $1.3 trillion student loan debt crisis in America.”

Analiese Eicher, Program Director at One Wisconsin Now, noted that it seems Johnson is stuck in reverse on student debt. In past comments on the issue he cited his time at the University of Minnesota in questioning why students and their families are increasingly burdened by debt. But at the time the multi-millionaire Sen. Johnson attended college, his tuition at the public university was 1,700 percent lower than it is today.

She commented, “While students are on the move all over Madison, Ron Johnson is stuck on reverse on college affordability. Borrowers are working hard to get their education and taking on the responsibility to pay for it. It’s important for students and their families put Sen. Johnson on notice that student debt and college affordability are huge issues for them and that he ought to get on board with reforms.”

The mobile billboard sponsored by One Wisconsin Now is pictured below:

Instead of helping, as a member of the U.S. Senate Johnson has compiled an atrocious record on the the issue of college affordability. He has cast multiple votes against legislation that would have allowed borrowers to refinance their student loans, just like you can with a mortgage. Instead Johnson supported a measure that locks borrower into higher than necessary interest rates, even though the federal government loans money to big banks at rates below one percent and makes tens of billions of dollars in profits from the interest on student loans. He has also suggested that the federal government should not be providing financial aid to help help eligible students and held out more for-profit colleges, like Trump University, as a solution to the student debt crisis.

In the state of Wisconsin, now third highest in the nation for percentage of graduates with student debt, there are an estimated one million borrowers with student debt who collectively owe roughly $19 billion. According to statistics from the federal government, 515,000 Wisconsin student loan borrowers could have lowered their interest rates if they were allowed to refinance.

“While students are moving and changing their addresses, Sen. Johnson is keeping them from being able to move to a lower interest rate on their student loans,” concluded Ross. “We’re reminding people it’s a great time to call Ron Johnson and tell him to either get it in gear on this critical issue and support reform or get out of the way.”

# # #

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

paul ryan
Press Release

Report: Speaker Paul Ryan to Retire at End of 2018

A national publication today reported that Speaker Paul Ryan may retire from Congress at the end of his term in 2018.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
12/14/2017
u.s. senator from wisconsin ron johnson
Press Release

Ron Johnson Must Apologize for Equating Sexual Assault of Children with ‘Dating’

One Wisconsin Now is demanding Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) immediately apologize for equating the sexual assault of a 14-year-old with “dating.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
12/13/2017
us capitol building
Press Release

Will Sen. Ron Johnson Put His Own Pocketbook Before Principle?

Rush is On to Pass GOP Tax Giveaway That Could Include ‘Badger Bribe’ Before Newly-Elected Democratic U.S. Senator Doug Jones Takes Seat
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
12/13/2017
wisconsin state senator leah vukmir
Press Release

Leah Vukmir Goes 'Back to the Future' With Outrageous Claim

Unless GAB had a secret time machine, it is impossible for Leah Vukmir to claim they targeted her in 2012 for something she did in late 2015.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
12/11/2017
seat at table
Press Release

Ron Johnson’s ‘Seat at the Table’ Doesn’t Include Actual Seat at Table

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson was left off conference committee on GOP tax giveaway after bragging he would personally protect his ‘Badger Bribe’
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
12/08/2017
scott walker in front of stars and stripes and money
Press Release

Scott Walker Extends Craven Campaign Cash Chase to Foreign Policy

Scott Walker has endorsed Donald Trump’s controversial announcement that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
12/07/2017
accountant calculator
In the News

The Federal Tax Code Is the Latest Weapon in GOP Assault on Higher Education

Several provisions in the tax bill being advanced by Congressional Republicans target student loan borrowers, students, and the schools they attend.
The Progressive
12/04/2017
u.s. senator from wisconsin ron johnson
Press Release

Ron Johnson Gets His ‘Badger Bribe’ to Vote for Disastrous Tax Cut Plan

Ron Johnson was bought off by getting his company a new tax break and he didn’t even hide it. If this ‘Badger Bribe’ isn’t a crime, it should be.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
12/01/2017