Proposal Offers Ohioans A Fair Deal For College Education
Innovative plan would eliminate excessive student debt, base tuition on percentage of income
Posted July 17, 2013 by Minority Caucus
Rep. Bob Hagan and Rep. Mike Foley

State Representatives Robert F. Hagan (D-Youngstown) and Mike Foley (D-Cleveland) today announced their plan to eliminate the growing burden of student loan debt carried by many of Ohio’s college graduates. 

“Higher education has become an arena in which banks and private lenders squeeze profit out of those looking to pave the way to a brighter future for themselves and their families,” said Rep. Hagan. “This legislation allows graduates to stop checking over their shoulder to see if the collection agency is coming, and instead focus on starting their careers.”

Under the proposed legislation, tuition to any of Ohio’s thirteen public colleges and universities would be free during a student’s college career, eliminating the need to finance a college education by taking out loans. Instead, graduates would pay three percent of their income for 24 years to pay for the costs of their education and to fund the program for the benefit of future students.

With the average Ohio student graduating with over $28,000 in student loan debt, many young people with considerable debt burdens end up delaying important life decisions such as buying a car, purchasing a home or even getting married and having children. By capping payback rates at three percent of one’s paycheck, students cannot become saddled with unmanageable debt.

“This is a unique opportunity for the state to actively address a real problem that has haunted so many young people for far too long,” said Rep. Foley. “The inaction on student loan debt is very real, and I think too many young people are wondering why their government has failed them in this regard.”

With an initial investment from the state, the fund would eventually become entirely self-supporting, thus removing the significant financial barriers that may otherwise discourage future generations from pursuing a higher education. Similar legislation recently passed in Oregon, where it received unanimous bi-partisan support.

Featured Posts

Secret Youngstown Plan Meetings Likely Violated State Sunshine Laws, Say Lawmakers


State Reps. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) today called for the resignation of State Superintendent Richard Ross after leaked minutes of secret meetings showed the superintendent deliberately kept secret the plan to takeover the Youngstown City Schools. Ross’ intentions were first reported Tuesday by the Youngstown Vindicator. 


Cleveland-area Lawmakers Say Ohio Could "amp Up" Economic Growth Through Music Industry


State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Sarah LaTourette (R-Bainbridge) today announced a bi-partisan effort to create jobs and drive economic growth by making Ohio a destination for the recording industry. The Ohio Sound Recording Investor Tax Credit, also known as OhioSounds, will work to attract more of the almost $7 billion in annual music industry revenue to the state. 

“Ohio is the birthplace of legendary musicians, unforgettable songs and ‘Rock N’ Roll’,” said Rep. Smith. “OhioSounds honors our proud legacy and works to cultivate a winning model moving forward. Ohio can become a destination for musicians, producers and industry leaders who will create jobs and strengthen our local economies. The OhioSounds tax credit will solidify our commitment to Ohio’s musical heritage and create new music that will provide the soundtrack to our lives.”

“Much like the Ohio film tax credit, this legislation seeks to incentivize investment in Ohio and create jobs in a dynamic industry,” Representative LaTourette stated. “Northeast Ohio has seen quite an investment in response to the film tax credit, with major motion pictures filmed on the streets of Cleveland and throughout our region. Given our history as the birthplace of Rock n’ Roll, it just makes sense to extend that incentive to the music industry and embrace our heritage as musical innovators.”