Assembly Democrats make push for debt-free college in Wisconsin

MADISON (WKOW) – Some Democratic state lawmakers in Wisconsin are joining a national push for debt-free college.

Three Assembly members introduced a joint resolution on Tuesday at the State Capitol.

The lawmakers want to create a debt-free college commission to look at how to bring the concept to Wisconsin. They say the group would consist of experts in the fields of higher education, workforce development, economics, and access to college so they can study ways people can get a degree from a college or university in Wisconsin without having to take out student loans.

Assistant Assembly Minority Leader Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point), one of the lawmakers introducing the resolution, says the goal of the commission and their resolution is to bring in more aid to students and schools while holding down costs at colleges and universities.

“Our economy is lagging, and Wisconsin's hard-working families are paying the price,” said Shankland. “A return to debt-free college will fulfill the most basic promise that previous generations in Wisconsin were offered: if you work hard and play by the rules, you can graduate college without being burdened by debt.”

Under this plan, the commission would report back to the legislature with their findings by 2017.

The Capital Times reports several state Republicans are looking at a different way to bring down student loan debt in Wisconsin.