MADISON, Wis. — For the first time since a $102.8 million settlement a result of a lawsuit brought by 39 state Attorneys General and the District of Columbia against the for-profit college company Education Management Corporation (EDMC) was announced back on November 16, Attorney General Brad Schimel has revealed that some Wisconsin student loan borrowers will receive modest relief. This news comes, despite the “complete indifference” of Gov. Scott Walker and Schimel, who refused to enter Wisconsin into the lawsuit.
“We are thrilled to learn that despite the complete indifference of Gov. Walker and Attorney General Schimel, some hard-working Wisconsin students will see some relief in this settlement,” said One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. “We remain incredulous why Walker and Schimel refused to join the suit, nor shouted from the rooftops since the settlement was reached nine days ago that this modest relief they say now exists and was previously undisclosed in the settlement, is available to Wisconsin victims.”
According to the terms of the settlement, EDMC will forgive nearly $103 million in debt for over 80,000 students. A thorough review of the settlement made no indication students in Wisconsin were eligible for potential relief and One Wisconsin Now challenged Schimel and Walker on this yesterday.
“Attorneys General across the country from both Republicans and Democrats have been trumpeting news to their states’ victims that this relief is available, but Schimel’s office has done nothing,” Ross said. “What’s most alarming about Schimel’s indifference to the student loan crisis and his unwillingness to join the EDMC lawsuit, is that his department, more than most state agencies, requires the kind of advanced degrees which result in crippling student loan debt.”
Original research from One Wisconsin Institute found that student loan debt has a significant and negative impact on the Wisconsin economy. Borrowers are much more likely to rent versus own their home and over $200 million in new car sales are lost annually due directly to student loan debt.
A recent poll by Marquette University Law School showed 61 percent support the student loan refinancing plan authored by Rep. Cory Mason (D-Racine) and Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) which has the co-authorship of all 50 Democratic state legislators, but has been blocked multiple times by the Republican-controlled legislature.