Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-7212

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING THE PROMOTION OF LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAMS.

Vote Date:

3/21/2017

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

3/9/2017

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

To promote student loan forgiveness programs.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Sean Bradbury, Director of Government Relations, Connecticut State Colleges & Universities

Director Bradbury began his testimony on HB 7212 by highlighting that the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and Teacher Loan Forgiveness program are both great resources for students to help reduce their student loan debt upon graduation. He went on to state that CSCU supports any initiative that would make students more aware of these programs.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Amy Carvalho, Guidance Counselor, State Vocational Federation of Teachers

Ms. Carvalho started her testimony discussing her student loan debt and all the stress and anxiety that have come with it. She explained that she is a school counselor and how much her salary is compared to how much she pays. Ms. Carvalho then goes on to state that HB 7212 would ensure that she had the information necessary to have more control over her student debt. She finishes her testimony by stating that without this bill, trying to find accurate information is almost impossible, and implores the Committee to support this legislation.

Ed Leavy, President, State Vocational Federation of Teachers

President Leavy began his testimony explaining the hardships teachers have gone through and are currently going through with student loan debt. Mr. Leavy then stated that many of these hardships are unnecessary as the federal government offers plans which help people repay their loans or file for forgiveness. President Leavy finished his testimony by expressing the need for HB 7212, and how the legislation will clarify the process and the qualifications for these programs.

Emily Lozinak, Math Teacher, State Vocational Federation of Teachers

Ms. Lozinak began her testimony by explaining how frustrating the current system is in regards to finding information about loan forgiveness. She went on to explain that the bill would ensure she receives a letter notifying her of the eligibility and participation requirements of the Public Service Programs. Ms. Lozinak finished her testimony by stating that the public does not fail to enroll in these programs because they are lazy; they do not enroll because they do not know they exist.

Gwen Pastor, Policy Analyst, Connecticut Association for Human Services, (CAHS)

Ms. Pastor began her testimony by stating the usefulness of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program and qualifications that allow someone to file with the program. She went on to explain that due to the instability of these programs, many workers may find it difficult to consistently find employment in these sectors, forcing them to find employment in private industries and making them ineligible, suggesting the legislature shorten employment time frame to qualify. She also asked that more employment sectors be included.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None submitted.

Reported by:

Dale Thompson, Assistant Clerk

Jeanie Phillips, Clerk

Date: March 29, 2017