House Passes Student Loan Forgiveness Bill
Good news to report on the Student Loan Forgiveness Bill. It passed the House today. The Senate companion bill has passed the Judiciary Committee. There's yet another hurdle: If enacted, the repayment program must be funded through separate legislation in order to take effect. From CQ (subscription only):
May 15, 2007 – 3:44 p.m.
House Lawmakers Pass Bill on Student Loan Forgiveness
By Seth Stern and Ben Halpern-Meekin, CQ Staff
Law school graduates who take jobs as criminal prosecutors and public defenders would be eligible for student loan forgiveness under a bill House lawmakers passed Tuesday.
Considered under suspension of the rules, the bipartisan measure (HR 916) passed by 341-73. It would provide a maximum of $10,000 per year — up to a total of $60,000 — for law school graduates who committed to working at least three years as state or local prosecutors or federal, state or local public defenders. Federal prosecutors are already eligible for loan forgiveness.
....Graduates can carry up to $100,000 in law school debt, in addition to debt from their undergraduate educations. Many find it financially difficult to take jobs as prosecutors and public defenders, which typically pay less than entry-level positions in the private sector.
The House Judiciary Committee approved the bill by voice vote May 2. The panel adopted a substitute amendment that would offset other forms of loan forgiveness and cap the authorization at $25 million per year for the six-year life of the program before it sunsets.
Although he criticized the original version of the legislation as being “very costly,” J. Randy Forbes, R-Va., praised the cap as “fiscally responsible” during remarks on the floor. He also said the cap “provides Congress the opportunity to review the cost-effectiveness of the program.”
Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., has introduced a companion measure (S 442) in the Senate. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a similar bill last Congress.
[Hat tip to Kyle, Legislative Director for NACDL]
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