Friday, October 18, 2013

Wisconsin lawmaker -- and Teamster -- fights on to help indebted students

Brother Dave Hansen on the right
Remember our Teamster brother Dave Hansen, one of the Fab 14 state senators who left the state to block job-killer Gov. Scott Walker's union-busting?

Here he is again, cosponsoring a bill to provide relief for people struggling with student loan debt.

The Cap Times reports,
“Student loans are untouchable, unflexible,” said Sara Graves, 30, who graduated from UW-Eau Claire with $25,000 in student loan debt. The married mother of three works full time and is still paying off her loans. “We are not asking for a bailout. We are asking for more control over our finances.”... 
On average, these residents graduate college with $22,400 in student loan debt if they leave school after earning a bachelor’s degree. With current interest rates on the federal loans, the graduates will pay $388 a month for the next 18.7 years, or until they are in their 40s... 
the student loan authority would be charged to create a system to buy loans — federal or private — and refinance them at a lower rate. 
The Hansen-Mason bill would also allow the yearly amount paid in student loan debt to be written off as a state tax deduction. Currently, only the interest on the loans can be used as a tax write-off.
We learned about the bill from our Teamster brother, Tom Bennett, president of Teamsters Local 200 in Milwaukee. Brother Bennett called Hansen "a good friend of the Teamsters who represents the families of Wisconsin with great pride."