Missoula Democrat’s Bill to Reduce Student Loan Debt | 406 Politics
With many well-paying jobs requiring a college degree and tuition fees rising exponentially over the past few decades, Morigeau said direct lender loans are often needed for people pursuing higher education.
Over the past 20 years, US News and World Report have revealed tuition fees in the state have jumped 212%. Morigeau told the hearing that the increase since 1969 is 3,000%.
Senator Brian Hoven, a Republican from Great Falls who chairs the committee, asked Morigeau why the legislature should support the program.
“The vast majority of these people are able-bodied and they took on the debt voluntarily. No one has put a gun to their head to take on this debt,” Hoven said. “Why should Montana taxpayers subsidize this debt repayment?” ”
Morigeau said his own experience of earning an undergraduate degree and a law degree showed him the need for loans to get a well-paying job.
“We know the path to good jobs in this country is (to have) students and young people going to college,” Morigeau said.
A federal provision in response to the economic fallout from COVID-19 already has the same effect as Morigeau’s bill, although it expires in 2025. The federal CARES law allows employers to pay up to $ 5,250 tax free. Morigeau’s bill allows an employer to contribute $ 5,000, although he has said he would be willing to change it to the federal amount.