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Committee To Consider Student Loan Reimbursement Bill

Republican Bill Calls For Reimbursing Student Loans For Out-Of-Staters Who Move Into Rural Areas

Students studying
Gerry Broome/AP Photo

The authors of a Republican bill that would reimburse student loans for out-of-staters who move to rural Wisconsin are telling a legislative committee that the measure would help attract young workers and families to the state.

Rep. Ed Brooks, of Reedsburg, and Sen. Tom Tiffany, of Hazelhusrt, told the Assembly Committee on Rural Development and Mining during a public hearing Thursday that young people are moving out of rural sections of the state for urban areas, crippling local economies and costing schools funding. They say the bill can help reverse that trend and attract recent college graduates to rural areas.

The bill calls for the Higher Education Aids Board to reimburse 40 percent or $25,000, whichever is less, of student loans for someone who has lived in a rural Wisconsin county for at least six months immediately after living out-of-state for at least five years.

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Kansas has a similar program.

The Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative is the only group that has registered in support of the bill. No groups have registered against it.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 11:13 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018 to include comments from authors of the bill.

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