January 28, 2016
Contact: Rep. Steineke: 608-266-2401

Assembly Republicans Support Series of College Affordability Bills


Madison – Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) issued the following statement concerning Assembly Democrats’ opposition to a package of Republican bills targeting college affordability:

“At a time when college affordability is on the minds of hardworking families across Wisconsin, Democratic members of the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities went on record that they would rather derail six financially responsible proposals than begin to help thousands of financially struggling students.

“We are not going to solve this problem overnight or in just one way,” said Steineke. “However, these six bills are a meaningful start. This package of legislation does the following: It provides safeguards for students who face unexpected hardships. It removes the cap on income tax deductions for student loan interest payments. It increases assistance to Wisconsin’s Technical College students. It makes it easier for students to find internships with Wisconsin businesses. It educates students on the true costs of their college degrees. It helps connect in-state employers with our university system.

“Unfortunately, committee members offered amendments that are prohibitively expensive and that would dilute the effectiveness of certain grants. They seem to have taken an ‘all-or-nothing approach’ - if we can’t solve all of our problems, we shouldn’t try solving any of them. But, as students and families paying down their debt know as well as anyone, you have to start somewhere. Today, Assembly Republicans took those important first steps, with our eyes on additional responsible assistance in the future.”

Among those who testified or registered in support of bills in this package are the University of Wisconsin System, the UWBoard of Regents, the Wisconsin Technical College System, the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, Milwaukee Area Technical College, and Madison Area Technical College.