April 16, 2018



Guillen: It's Time To Change Law That Prevents Texans From Working


AUSTIN- Representative Ryan Guillen (D- Rural South Texas) is calling for a change in a state law that prevents Texans from renewing an occupational license if they have defaulted on their student loans.


"Defaulting on loans should not stop Texans from being able to work and provide for their families," said Guillen. "I support the initiative to change this restrictive law to help all working Texans."


The Texas law went into effect in the late 1980s to incentivize paying back student loans on time. However, opponents of this law contend it is out of date and counterproductive, as the inability to work pushes those who have defaulted into further debt. An estimated 4,200 workers in Texas were at risk of losing their license to work last year, and 250 teachers had their application for a license denied over a five year period due to defaulted loans. Representative Guillen and other Texas lawmakers are concerned about the scope of this issue, and have called for a change in this law to help workers across the state of Texas.


Since his election, Guillen has worked to improve programs and initiatives that assist workers in South Texas. He has voted to improve  mobility and infrastructure, which is vital to economic success, by increasing road funding by $6 billion, Guillen also helped pass legislation to provide financial assistance to rural and small businesses, he helped establish the Texas Enterprise Fund that supports the state's economic development, infrastructure and job training programs, and he has supported increasing higher education and workforce training in South Texas. These efforts have brought results as well. Unemployment in District 31 has dropped from over 9% to 6% and average yearly wages have increased.


"Stable jobs do a great deal to enhance the quality of life of everyday working South Texans," added Guillen. "We must do what we can to eliminate arbitrary restrictions on the ability to hold a steady job, like the current law on defaulted student loans."


Serving ten rural South Texas counties in the Texas House of Representatives, Ryan Guillen is known for his hard work, fierce independence, and relentless efforts for South Texas families. Recently, Capitol Inside called him a “House Bill Machine,” and a “one-person assembly line for legislation.” Since elected, few other legislators have passed more bills than Guillen. Sign up for updates at, and