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Legislature Seeks to Establish State Student Loan Program [VIDEO]

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Prior to closing the 2022 Washington State Legislative session, the legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 1736, which establishes a state student loan program.

Originally passed by the House 59-39, the Senate passed their version of the bill with changes on March 4, by a vote of 27-21. The House refused to concur with the Senate’s amendments, asking the Senate to recede from the amendments. The Senate did so, passing the bill 27-21 on March 10. The House concurred with the Senate the same day with a vote of 57-40.

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The bill has been delivered to the Governor, for an opportunity for the bill to be signed into law.

Watch the testimony then continue reading to learn more about ESSH 1736.

ESSH 1736 Concerning Student Loans

Bill Information
Bill Information Page (link)

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Concerning: An act relating to establishing a state student loan program. Bill as Passed (pdf)
Sponsors: Sullivan, Slatter, Leavitt, Valdez, Walen, Goodman, Gregerson, Ramel, Santos, Wylie, Paul, Simmons, Chopp, Bergquist, Pollet, Johnson, J., Riccelli, Ormsby, Frame
Votes on Final Passage:  27 Senate 21  |   House 57 | 40
30th: JJ JT CW
31st: DS ER PF
47th: DE PS MD

Brief Summary of Bill
(As Amended by Senate)

•Directs the Washington Student Achievement Council, in consultation with the Office of the State Treasurer and the State Investment Board, to design a student loan program.
•Requires a report to the Legislature on the design and implementation plan for the program by December 1, 2022.
•Creates the Washington Student Loan Program to be administered by the Office of the State Treasurer.
•Specifies that funding for the program must not be expended unless an independent actuarial analysis forecasts the program to be self-sustaining and the interest rates for the loans do not exceed 1 percent.
•Requires the Office of the State Treasurer to implement, to the extent practicable, the recommendations provided in the report on the design of the program.

State Student Loan Program Bill Summary

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WSAC, in consultation with the Office of the State Treasurer (treasurer) and the State Investment Board (SIB) must design a student loan program. At a minimum, the program design must include:

• a low-interest rate, which may be 1 percent;
• loans for undergraduate and graduate students;
• the terms of the loans;
• the terms and administration of the repayment program; and
the types of borrowers permitted to participate. The program must prioritize low-income borrowers.

The loan program must include a grace period for repayment, including for active duty national guard members.

Student loans may not be issued under the program unless the program design recommended by WSAC, SIB, and the treasurer is found by an independent actuary to be self-sustaining and the interest rates for the loans under the program do not exceed 1 percent.

WSAC may recommend contracting with one or more state-based financial institutions for loan origination and servicing. An open and competitive bid process must be used.

A report is due on the program design to the Governor and the Legislature by December 1, 2022. WSAC must collect data on the program in collaboration with institutions of higher education and submit an annual report to the Legislature beginning December 1, 2026.


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Unless otherwise noted, the above information was obtained from the official Washington State Legislative website. Future meetings are subject to change. Auburn representatives in bold.

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