Wisconsin Rep. Debra Kolste (D-Janesville) has proposed a bill to reduce what she called "the crippling burden of student debt" in her state. Current law does not allow student debt to be refinanced, differentiating it from other consumer debt such as credit cards and auto loans.
Kolste's Higher Ed, Lower Debt Bill would allow student debt to be refinanced and directs the Higher Education Aids Board to create a program for this purpose. Her proposal also would establish a state tax deduction for payments on student loans and would expand the income tax deduction for higher education expenses. It additionally would create a "truth-in-student-loan" transparency program to make sure students and parents understand their loan information and have access to loan counseling. The bill also would standardize student loan data collected from all Wisconsin institutions of higher learning.