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Republicans vote ‘no’ on DeLaney’s amendment to ease student debt

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INDIANAPOLIS - Today, Indiana House Republicans voted against an amendment authored by State Representative Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis) that would lower state tuition rates.

Amendment 3 to House Bill 1002 would have established a fund to reduce the tuition rate of state colleges and universities. 

“In the last five years, our state colleges and universities have seen enrollment drop 10%,” DeLaney said. “As the cost of higher education soars, fewer families can afford higher education without taking on student loans. With those Hoosier college students accruing upwards of $27,000 in debt, more young people are deterred from higher achievement, and in turn higher paying jobs. Those with this financial burden are forced to put off other milestones like buying a home or starting a family- stunting our state’s economy.”

According to U.S. News and World Report, the average student is taking on more debt than ever before, with individual balances rising 26% from 2009 to 2020. By the end of 2020, U.S. student loan borrowers owed $1.7 trillion in federal and private student loans.

“Our legislature has a unique opportunity to lower tuition rates by increasing state support to our colleges and universities,” DeLaney explained. “We currently have billions of additional dollars in our state reserves. If we can change the budget to give a tax break to businesses, surely we can use it to support students interested in pursuing higher education.

“If we can reduce the financial strain of higher education in our state, every Hoosier family that has a child at state college wins. Every community that is home to a state college or university wins. Indiana’s economic future wins.”

DeLaney’s amendment was voted down by a vote of 60-26.

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