College Kickstarter and student loan borrower bills signed into law  

(May 13) – Gov. Polis signed a pair of bills sponsored by House Democrats at the University of Colorado campus in Boulder.

First up was SB19-002, sponsored by Rep. Dylan Roberts and Rep. Dominique Jackson, to help protect student loan borrowers.

“This new law will help student loan borrowers and ensure they are not victims of scams or deception,” said Rep. Roberts, D-Avon. “This is a pressing issue for young people who are demanding that their elected officials take action.  This is a crucial step that we are taking to help Coloradans pay off their loans as soon as possible.”

Student debt in Colorado has skyrocketed from $19 billion to over $27 billion in just three years. This new law will would include student loan servicers in the Uniform Consumer Credit Code to establish licensing requirements for these service providers. It also empowers the Colorado Attorney General’s office to field, review and help resolve any complaints by borrowers against service providers.

“I put myself through undergraduate school and a very expensive graduate program. I took out a lot of student loans,” Rep. Jackson, D-Aurora said during debate on the bill.  “It’s not just my colleagues’ generation, it’s mine too. I don’t get to retire because I have this debt and I feel like I will die with this student loan debt.”

In 2017, Coloradans issued over 1,000 complaints against loan service providers, a 78 percent increase compared to previous years, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Children with college savings accounts are twice as likely to go to college. That’s why House Democrats passed HB19-1280, a program will be created to help and encourage Colorado parents to open a College Savings Account (CSA) for their children. The bill was also signed into law today.

“I am so excited about this new law! Colorado will now help to “kickstart” college savings for every baby born or adopted in Colorado,” said Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver. “Studies show that savings can help address the economic and racial barriers to building wealth in our country by incentivizing savings and encouraging families to invest in education at zero cost to the taxpayers.”

Beginning in 2020, $100 of seed money will be contributed to the CSA if an account is opened within the first five years of the child’s life.

“The College Kickstarter program will create funding for a college savings account for every child born or adopted in Colorado,” said Speaker Becker, D-Boulder. “This will help give our kiddos a running start and have a strong impact on our state’s future.”
Watch the bill signing ceremony here.

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