Bills sponsored by Del. Marcus Simon (53rd District) and Del. Marcia “Cia” Price (95th District) would have created a state entity through which borrowers could re-finance student loans at lower rates. House Democrats held a press conference detailing this legislation on Jan. 9.
“Student loan debt is hampering our economy and holding our young people back,” said Del. Marcus Simon. “Long after they’ve attained degrees and secured good-paying jobs, workers are still seeing huge chunks of their paychecks being eaten by student loans. That’s money that could have been spent on both large and small purchases that would have bolstered local communities as well as our economy at-large. Today, Virginia Republicans told our students and hard-working families that they care more about partisan politics than they do about you.”
“It’s unfortunate that House Republicans were not willing to allow this legislation to come to the floor,” said Price. “When we’re talking about this many people’s purchasing powering being negatively affected and the resulting impact on our economy, this requires our attention. When a generation is significantly unable to participate in buying homes or cars, or choosing careers based on their passion for having to weigh how to pay back large monthly payments, we need to help create solutions. College degrees are becoming increasingly required for good-paying jobs. We need to send a strong message to our students that gaining a good education is the right thing to do for their future. Helping students re-finance their loans further sends the message that the Commonwealth is invested in its workforce. These bills would have encouraged even more students to get the education they need to succeed in the New Virginia economy. Instead, House Republicans sent the message to students and graduates that you’re on your own.”
More than 1 million Virginians collectively owe more than $1 billion in student loan debt.