Committee passes bill to alleviate student debt

Opportunity Minnesota would offer college graduates a tax credit to repay loans while they remain in the state.

A bill that would offer Minnesota college graduates an income tax credit to pay back their subsidized college loans is moving on in the state House of Representatives. A higher education committee unanimously passed the bill Thursday, which means it will be presented before the finance committee, Minnesota Public Interest Research Group Campus Organizer Joe Eggers said. The bill is authored by Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, and a similar bill authored by Sen. David Tomassoni, DFL-Chisholm, is in the Senate. Two witnesses from MPIRG, senior Ryan Kennedy and executive director Josh Winters have been speaking on behalf of the bill and trying to garner support within the Capitol. In order for graduates to receive the tax credit, they would have to continue to live in Minnesota. Although the bill is moving on in the House, Eggers said it was again laid over for later consideration by a Senate higher education committee due to some unclear language in the bill. The bill is by no means law yet, but Eggers said just a week and a half ago the group was unsure the bill would go this far in the process, adding that the layover will not stop the group from promoting the bill. âÄúItâÄôs a hurdle, but I donâÄôt think itâÄôs necessarily something that we canâÄôt overcome,âÄù he said.