Governor Lamont Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Decision Regarding Student Loan Forgiveness
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today condemned the U.S. Supreme Court for siding against low and middle-income families in need of debt relief and reminded Connecticut employers and residents of the tools made available by his administration and the Connecticut General Assembly to address student loan debt in Connecticut.
“Today’s decision from the U. S. Supreme Court deals a crushing blow to over 200,000 hardworking Connecticut residents who were already approved for this much needed student debt relief,” Governor Lamont said. “As the land of opportunity, we should be in the business of building ladders, not cutting off lifelines. Although the U.S. Supreme Court has blocked federal assistance, Connecticut offers a generous tax credit to employers that provide student loan assistance and a debt-free community college program that more than 10,000 students have already taken advantage of. We also have targeted relief programs for teachers, nurses, and social workers. I encourage all employers to step up to the plate and take advantage of state incentives to help pay down their employees' student loans.”
In 2019, Governor Lamont took bold action to get Connecticut’s economy moving in the right direction, signing Public Act 19-86, which created a new tax credit for Connecticut employers who help pay off their employees’ student loans. The tax credit was expanded in 2022. This public-private solution to the student debt crisis offers employees much-needed relief while also providing businesses with another tool to recruit the talented workforce they need to succeed.
The Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority (CHESLA) offers competitively priced loans, including refinancing opportunities, to all residents. In addition, the state sponsors loan and tuition support for teachers, nurses, and social workers through career-targeted programs. Teachers working in one of Connecticut’s Alliance District public schools can get help refinancing their private student loan debt through the Alliance District Teacher Loan Subsidy (ADTLS) Program. Aspiring nurses and social workers can receive up to $10,000 in tuition assistance through CT Health Horizons, a three-year higher education program designed to address statewide shortages in nursing and behavioral health providers.
The Pledge to Advance CT, or PACT, Connecticut’s debt-free community program, is available to first-time, degree-seeking, in-state students who enroll full time, make satisfactory academic progress while enrolled, and have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Thus far, more than 10,000 students have taken advantage of Connecticut’s debt-free community college options.
The decision to overturn President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan leaves millions of a Americans saddled with debt and futures in limbo. In recent years, a growing number of Connecticut leaders have commended Governor Lamont for taking action to stimulate the state’s economy and close the wealth gap by establishing dedicated pathways for the hardworking people of Connecticut to pursue a higher education debt-free.
“The student loan program offered by the State of Connecticut is a true differentiator for young talent joining the workforce,” Matt McCooe, CEO of Connecticut Innovations, the state’s venture capital arm, said. “When you pair this program with some of the other offerings in the state, like the Governor’s Innovation Fellowship and The Talent Bridge Program, Connecticut becomes a place where talent can land a job, find a great place to live, access a network and begin a career with less student debt.”
“The workforce crisis in Connecticut is being felt across the country,” Chris DiPentima, president and CEO of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, said. “There are not enough people to fill the open jobs. We need bipartisan action to break down the barriers that are keeping people out of the workforce. Finding solutions to address rising education costs, create more affordable housing, expand access to childcare, and improve immigration are critical steps to create new pathways to opportunities for everyone.”
"As the State affiliated student lender, CHESLA is committed to helping our borrowers finance the cost of higher education and expanding access to educational opportunities for all Connecticut residents,” Jeanette W. Weldon, executive director of CHESLA, said. “We are proud to continue to offer loans without any fees and competitive fixed interest rates, and serve as a leading resource for Connecticut students and families as they plan for their post-secondary education by providing financial literacy tools, and scholarships. CHESLA also offers an Employer Student Loan Repayment Program to help employers take advantage of federal and state tax benefits associated with a paydown on their employees’ student loans.”