Monday, August 15, 2022


President Biden this week is poised to sign into law sweeping legislation that addresses climate change and prescription drug costs; Measuring the Supreme Court abortion decision's impact in the corporate world; Disaster recovery for Eastern Kentucky businesses.


Federal officials warn about threats against law enforcement; Democrats push their climate, health, and tax bill through Congress; and a new report reveals 800 Americans were evacuated during the Afghanistan withdrawal.


Infrastructure funding is on its way, ranchers anticipate money from the Inflation Reduction Act, and rural America is becoming more diverse, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the leadership.

WA Low-Interest Loans Would Cut Student Debt


Monday, June 13, 2022   

The cost of higher education is a major headache for people, even years after they've graduated. A program in Washington state aims to make borrowing for college a little easier.

State lawmakers passed a measure this year that will establish a 1% interest rate student loan program. It will get started with a one time $150 million investment from the state, after an actuary analyzes the plan.

The bill's sponsor, state Rep. Pat Sullivan - D-Covington - said the state had big budget surplus this year.

"We had a decent amount of one time money that was available," said Sullivan, "and I really thought that putting it into a student loan account for 1% student loans just made a lot of sense. The timing was just perfect."

The state had a $15 billion surplus to work with during the 2022 session.

Most Republicans voted against the legislation, saying the money should have gone back to Washingtonians through tax breaks.

Washingtonians owe an average of about $33,000 in student debt, according to the website Student Loan Hero. Sullivans said that debt is a burden for people long after they leave college.

"Interest rates are too high," said Sullivan. "You're having people graduate unable to take out a loan even for a car in some instances, and buying a home is way out of reach given the debt load that they graduate with."

The Biden administration is considering canceling some amount of people's student debt - possibly up to $10,000.

Sullivan - who is also the Majority Leader in the state House - said that's great, but his 1% loan program aims to help students going forward.

"That'll help a lot of students but this is into the future," said Sullivan, "and so until the federal government can come up with a better solution for students, then they're going to continue to rack up debt."

A report on how the program could work long-term, and what funding level it might need, is due on the governor's desk December 1.

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.

get more stories like this via email
In 2021, damages from floods and other severe weather in the United States exceeded $145 billion. (Adobe Stock)


In the wake of historic summer floods in the Midwest and Appalachia, there are calls for a new national plan to reduce risks from disasters. The …

Social Issues

Small businesses that suffered damage or destruction from the recent historic flooding in Eastern Kentucky can get one-on-one assistance as they try t…


The Inflation Reduction Act, newly passed by the U.S. Senate, allocates $369 Billion to fight climate change, and appropriates funds specifically for …

Social Issues

By Linda Burstyn for Ms. Magazine Broadcast version by Roz Brown for New Mexico News Connection/Public News Service Bad Business: Anti-abortion …

In Pennsylvania's Nov. 8 General Election, voters will decide races for governor, U.S. House and Senate, and several state offices. (Zimmytws/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Opening up Pennsylvania's primary elections to voters who aren't registered either as Democrats or Republicans is the topic of a State House of Repres…

Social Issues

August is National Black Business Month, and this year, for Black-owned companies in Pennsylvania that have managed to survive through the pandemic…

Social Issues

On August 27, members of the public will have a rare opportunity to visit the historic Padlock Ranch first developed for livestock in 1867, now …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021