Gov. Tony Evers on Wednesday signed an executive order creating the Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt.
The Task Force will be chaired by Kathy Blumenfeld, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, and will serve a variety of functions: assessing student debt in the state, providing long-term strategies to reduce student debt, preventing abusive practices by loan companies and improving financial literacy education.
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“We need to address college affordability and ensure that a great education doesn’t come at the cost of decades of crippling debt,” Evers said in a statement. “Student debt is preventing folks from buying a car, starting a business, saving for retirement, and starting a family, and that is ultimately holding back our state and our economy. Student debt isn’t going away any time soon, but this task force will be a meaningful first step in addressing this issue in our state.”
Part of the problem, according to Blumenfeld, is that some students don’t fully consider the consequences of student loan debt until it’s too late.
“This results in students and families having to choose between paying their bills and defaulting on their loans,” she said. “I heard these struggles from so many as I traveled across the state this past year, which is why I’m so passionate about finding creative ways to help our students and families.”