Student Loan Bill Passes the House, Heads to Governor
A bill introduced by State Senator Alex Bergstein (D-Greenwich) that will make Connecticut more affordable for both businesses and recent college graduates passed the House of Representatives on June 5 and now heads to the desk of Governor Ned Lamont for his signature into law.
Student loan debt is a growing issue in Connecticut, doubling in the last 10 years from $8 billion to $17 billion. Senate Bill No. 72, “An Act Establishing a Tax Credit for Employers That Make Payments on Loans Issued to Certain Employees by the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority,” provides tax credits to employers who make payments on their employees’ student loans. The program helps employees who live and work in Connecticut after graduation. Starting in 2022, employers making loan payments can claim a tax credit equal to half the value of those payments for a period of up to five years.
While the original bill was broader in scope, the final bill was limited to refinanced loans issued by the Connecticut Higher Education Student Loan Authority (CHESLA) in order to minimize the fiscal impact.
Sen. Bergstein introduced the bill to the legislature’s Banks Committee, where she serves as Senate Chair. The bill was co-sponsored by state Senators James Maroney (D-Milford) and Will Haskell (D-Wilton),who merged their own student loan bills into this one.
“The intent of this bill is to recruit and retain young talent to our state, and if this plan works, I hope we can expand it to cover all students in every school and at every stage of life,” explained Sen. Bergstein. “This legislation is an excellent example of how a good idea can come to fruition when colleagues collaborate and find creative solutions.”
The bill passed the House on a unanimous and bipartisan vote after passing the Senate last week on a bipartisan 28-7 vote.