FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2019
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GUILLEN SEEKS TO EASE STUDENT DEBT FOR TEXAS WORKFORCE
AUSTIN - As an author of HB 14 and HB 218, both of which recently advanced by the Texas House of Representatives, State Rep. Ryan Guillen (D-Rural South Texas) is working to provide loan repayment assistance for full-time peace officers, and prevent licensing boards from revoking professional licenses for individuals defaulting on student loans.
"Even before they enter the labor force, student loans can be crippling for Texans," remarked Guillen. "The money that goes into paying off student loans and interest is money not going into personal savings or back into the economy."
Over 70-percent of college students graduate with an average debt due to student loans of over $37,000, with forty-four million Americans combined owed about $1.5 trillion in student debt. A college education is vital in order to keep up in an increasingly competitive market and for this reason, student debt is projected to rise. High student debt often leads to otherwise qualified graduates avoiding public service jobs, so that they may pursue a career in a private, higher paying industry. In an effort to address this issue, HB 14 would establish a loan repayment assistance program for full-time peace officers.
Currently, Texas laws allow professional licensing boards, such as the State Board of Dental Examiners, to revoke a license of an individual that defaults or otherwise breaks a student loan agreement. However, this makes it even more difficult for those individuals to repay their debt, no longer qualified to work. HB 218 would repeal this provision, so that borrowers may continue to make payments on their student loans, without losing their license and employment.
"Allowing Texas' hard-working graduates a fighting chance to succeed and prepare for retirement is critical for the future of our economy," added Guillen. "These legislative measures could responsibly reduce the burden of student loans for the benefit of the state at large."
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 ryanguillen.com, facebook.com/representative.guillen, and twitter.com/ryanguillen