Student debt bill has look of more insider political corruption waiting to happen, says Mazzochi
Newly elected Illinois State Rep. Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) does not believe that House Bill 2865 does anything it is being billed to do and only sets the stage for more of the political corruption for which Illinois is notorious.
“I voted against this bill because nothing about it will save students money,” Mazzochi told the DuPage Policy Journal. “At the same time, it gives the state treasurer unfettered discretion to go investing money in a whole host of areas while racking up all sorts of administrative costs. I’m concerned it will just serve as another vector to give insiders sweet deals with no oversight.”
Sponsored by state treasurer Michael Frerichs, House Bill 2865 portends to designate at least $600 million in state funds for student loan programs for local students. The bill has already sailed through the House by a 67-33 vote and is now being debated in the Senate Assignments Committee.
According to Crain’s Chicago Business, funds for the program would be generated from the same resources used to pay down the state’s billions in unpaid debt. Mazzochi said she fails to see a payoff for taxpayers in any part of the plan.
“Proponents charge it will make student loans cheaper, but it really doesn’t,” she said. “Also, student loans have a high dissolve rate and with Illinois being cash-strapped the way it is, it’s just not smart to invest in a program with a known high rate of default.”
Mazzochi said she also takes exception with those who compare the measure to the student forgiveness plan being proposed by U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren.
“It’s not a student loan forgiveness program,” she said. “All this bill does is make the state the debt collector and wage garnisher for student loans. If the program is implemented, state government will just be the latest entity to try and make money off the student loan racket.”