January 22, 2016

Working for you!


Making College More Affordable in Wisconsin

Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) and I, with a team of Republican legislators, released the College Affordability Legislative Package to address student loan debt and increase the success of college students. Governor Walker highlighted the College Affordability Package at his State of the State Address on Tuesday and has traveled around the state to promote it.

These bills will benefit both current students and graduates. The package provides students with: additional information about their student loans so they can make smart financial decisions; emergency assistance so they can stay in school; tax breaks when paying back their student loans; and internship opportunities to connect students with Wisconsin employers to help students get better jobs and reduce the brain-drain.

The Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee, which I chair, held a public hearing yesterday on this package of bills.

Leaders from the Wisconsin Technical College System, 2-year UW Colleges, UW System, student government, Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the Higher Educational Aids Board came to express their approval of this package and the beneficial advantages it will offer thousands of students across the state.

I appreciate the leaders of all of these institutions for the hard work they do for Wisconsin students. This is an example of how the legislature can work with these organizations to make college more affordable.

Here are the details of each bill:

1) AB 741 Establish an Emergency Program at 2-year UW colleges and Technical Colleges (Reps. Murphy, Heaton, Novak and Senator Marklein): Provides $450,000 in grants to assist students who are working hard to complete their degree, but experience a financial emergency that could cause them to drop out of school.
2) AB 744 Financial Literacy Information for Students (Reps. Murphy, Krug, VanderMeer and Senator Marklein): Requires all higher education institutions to send students a letter with information about their loans each year and provide financial literacy information in their first semester so they can make better decisions about their financial future.
3) AB 742 Fund Internship Coordinators at the Department of Workforce Development (Reps. Murphy, Bernier, Kitchens and Senators Marklein and Gudex): Provides $200,000 of existing Fast Forward money to create two internship coordinator positions at DWD to connect employers with Wisconsin universities and create internship opportunities.
4) AB 743 Fund Internship Coordinators for the University of Wisconsin (Reps. Murphy, Petryk, Tranel and Senator Marklein): Provides $500,000 for the UW to create internship coordinators to connect employers with UW institutions and create internship opportunities.
5) AB 739 Eliminate the Cap on the Tax Deduction for Student Loan Interest (Reps. Macco, Murphy and Senator Marklein): Save student loan debt payers about $5.2 million annually statewide by allowing students to deduct all interest paid on student loans. The benefits of this is targeted to the middle class.
6) AB 740 Increase Wisconsin Grants for Technical College Students (Rep. Heaton and Senator Harsdorf): This bill will benefit over 1,000 technical college students by increasing the needs-based Wisconsin Grants by $1 million in the biennium or $500,000 annually.

Rep. Murphy testifying in favor of the College Affordability Package

A Conversation with Egide Nimubona: Part 2 and Part 3

I'd like to share the 2nd and 3rd parts of this conversation that I had with Egide Nimubona back in November. Egide is the founder and Executive Director of the The Burundi Education Fund, Inc. and he teaches mechanical engineering at Fox Valley Technical College. Egide shares his incredible story as a refugee from the country of Burundi. He talks about the importance of education and how his organization gives back to the community by supporting the youth in Burundi so they can pursue their education. You can find out more about the Burundi Education Fund, Inc. here.

Click the photos to watch the videos.

This is the second series of videos in an effort to highlight constituents of the 56th District so you have the opportunity to learn about some of the dedicated public servants we have in our own community.

"Like" Representative Murphy's Facebook Page

In an effort to continually engage with you on important topics facing the state, I launched a Facebook page. Please like it by clicking here!

I will use Facebook to update you more frequently on my work in Madison and the 56th Assembly District. I look forward to using this as another way to connect with constituents and encourage you to follow it and watch for regular updates.

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I live in Greenville, but have an office at the State Capitol in Madison. If you are in downtown Madison, please feel free to stop by and say hello! Just go to the information desk in the rotunda, and they can direct you on how to find my office, 318 North. At the bottom of each e-update, you'll see my office contact information.

If your school or group plans to tour the Capitol building, please let me know in advance. I'd love to visit with you for a few minutes and take a group photo.

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Rep.Murphy@legis.wisconsin.gov State Capitol Room 318 North - PO Box 8953, Madison, WI 537088 Toll Free: (888) 534-0056 or (608) 266-7500