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STATEMENT: Maggie Thompson on the Illinois Student Loan Bill of Rights Veto Override

Washington, D.C.— On Tuesday, November 7, in a bipartisan 98-16 vote, the Illinois House of Representatives voted to override Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of S.B. 1351, the Illinois Student Loan Bill of Rights.

The bill includes a set of protections meant to hold student loan companies accountable for debt collection and payment processing practices, and includes provisions aimed at helping borrowers get more accurate information on their loan repayment and forgiveness options.

During the veto session, many Republican lawmakers flipped their votes in support of the bill. Despite opposition from Republican Floor Leader Rep. Peter Breen, the bill received overwhelming bipartisan support, with members of both parties taking to the floor to argue on behalf of the bill. In their remarks, some Republican members referred to the “many calls” they received from student loan borrowers.

Maggie Thompson, Executive Director of Generation Progress Action, issued the following statement in response:

“State legislators have a responsibility to protect their constituents from the predatory behavior of student loan companies. When these companies don’t do their jobs properly, it pushes borrowers into default. Student loan default is disastrous for local economies, and borrowers. Because of their student debt burden, borrowers often struggle with purchasing homes, opening businesses, or starting families.

Momentum for these kinds of borrower protections is building nationwide. Student loan companies like Navient and Nelnet are not looking out for borrowers, in turn, states are stepping up to protect their citizens. Amidst a slew of regulatory rollbacks from the Department of Education, Illinois has emerged as a leader in codifying student loan borrower protections, with consumer, veterans, and progressive groups, joining together with State Attorney General Lisa Madigan to protect those wronged by student loan companies.”

The Illinois Student Loan Bill of Rights will go into effect at the end of December 2018.

Resources:

Borrower’s Bill of Rights policy white paper, a report that outlines the need for student loan protection bills at the state level.

Chart that compares the composition of similar bills introduced in multiple states and the District of Columbia during recent legislative sessions.

 

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