Student loan bill does not solve the problem of unrelenting educational costs, says Skillicorn
Illinois State Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee) believes state treasurer Michael Frerichs’ plan to set aside as much as 5 percent of the billions in revenues he’s entrusted with investing on behalf of the state for refinancing student loan debt could be seen as a dereliction of duty.
“The treasury has the fiduciary responsibility to find the best investments for the people of Illinois, not focusing on select special groups,” Skillicorn told the McHenry Times. “This is a case of the people of Illinois having to pay out more to a special group.”
Backed by Frerichs, House Bill 2865, which has already passed the House by a 67 to 33 vote, would allow the treasurer’s office to set aside as much as $600 million in the name of helping as many as 50,000 Illinois students conquer the rising costs of higher education. According to Chicago Crain’s Business, the funds would come from the same resource pool the state is using in a desperate effort to pay down the billions it already owes.
No matter what side of the issue you stand on, Skillicorn said there is a harsh reality about the situation that no one can deny.
“The bottom line is college is too expensive and the federal government should allow students to file bankruptcy on these loans,” he said. “Why are there special interests in place to protect banks and colleges from the same rules everyone else has to deal with?”
While Frerichs argues that the plan would mean higher returns than the roughly 2 to 3 percent derived by the state on other short-term investments, Skillicorn said he is taking a wait-and-see attitude.
HB 2865 has now been referred to the Senate Assignments Committee for further consideration.