As interest rates rise, WA prepares state-run student loan scheme

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Washington Republicans vote

Most, but not all, Republican state officials rejected the legislation.

the bill has been heard on the House College and Workforce Development Committee, as well as on the House Appropriations Committee. Rep. Kelly Chambers, R-Puyallup, who sits on both, voted against the proposal, preferring to back measures that put money in people’s pockets so they can run their homes.

“Right now, with inflation, with supply chain issues, with affordability in Washington, we just see the strain on typical working families in Washington,” she said in an interview. with Crosscut.

Chambers noted that the state has made recent investments in higher education. In 2019, lawmakers passed the Workforce Training Investment Acta bill intended to make the college more affordable for low-income people students.

Two GOP lawmakers, Rep. Skyler Rude, R-Walla Walla and Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, parted ways with their colleagues to vote yes on the bill. Rude saw interest as a significant obstacle in people’s efforts to repay their loans – a problem he understands personally as someone in debt.

“It’s not 1%, I can tell you that,” said Rude, who hopes to see a shift to interest-free or low-interest loans.

The representative was also involved in the drafting of the bill, when he introduced an amendment to ensure that the program also covers students attending independent state colleges.

Rep. Kirsten Harris-Talley, D-Seattle, and Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch, voted against the legislation.

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