Saturday, December 3, 2022

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Group wants rollbacks of some IA voting restrictions; RSV, Flu, COVID: KY faces "Triple Threat" this winter; Appeals court halts special master review of documents seized at Mar-a-Lago.

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The Senate passes a bill forcing a labor agreement in an effort to avoid a costly railway worker strike. The House Ways and Means Committee has former President Trump's tax returns in hand. The Agriculture Committee is looking at possible regulations for cryptocurrency following the collapse of cryptocurrency giant FTX. The Supreme Court will be reviewing the legality of Biden s student debt relief program next year. Anti-semitic comments from Ye spark the deletion of tweets from the the House Judiciary Committee GOP's Twitter account.

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The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and if Oklahoma is calling to you, a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Forgiveness Makes Student Debt Disappear for Public Workers

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Monday, June 6, 2022   

After changes to streamline the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, more workers are getting their student debt erased.

The U.S. Education Department program forgives student loans for public sector employees after ten years of consistent payments.

Anneliese Simons is a psychiatric social worker at Western State Hospital and member of the Washington Federation of State Employees. She'd racked up more than $50,000 in debt.

She said she used the revamped program and worked with the Education Department website.

"I used their little tool that typed everything in," said Simons. "And then sent it to our HR department and then faxed it over the student loan folks and surprise, surprise! A few weeks later my loan was forgiven."

Since overhauling the program in October, more than 127,000 people have qualified for the program, according to the federal data. However, the waiver making it easier to qualify is only in place until October 31.

Simons said her application was probably simplified because she's had the same employer since she graduated. But she said applying is worth the time - especially when you do the math.

"I maybe spent a total of an hour on this," said Simons. "And for an hour I got $11,000 forgiven. I thought that was time well spent."

Simons said this is an important program that public service employees deserve, noting they're paid less than the private sector and it's a good incentive to bring workers into public work.

"Public servants," said Simons, "people who work with the public, people who do the jobs that most people would not want to do, are important and run this country."



Disclosure: Washington Federation of State Employees - AFSCME Council 28 contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Health Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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