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AL nonprofit urges Medicaid expansion to save rural hospitals; Harris skipping Netanyahu address shows daylight with Biden on Israeli leader; Biden to give first speech since dropping out of race; IN students face stricter attendance rules, new reading requirements; New Missouri law ensures medication access.

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Kamala Harris builds momentum toward nomination and vets potential Veeps. She and Trump take aggressive stances, as plans for a September debate continue. Sen. Bob Menendez says he'll resign, but will also appeal his corruption conviction.

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There's a gap between how rural and urban folks feel about the economy, Colorado's 'Rural is Rad' aims to connect outdoor businesses, more than a dozen of Maine's infrastructure sites face repeated flooding, and chocolate chip cookies rock August.

NV nonprofit calls Biden's student debt initiatives economic justice

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Tuesday, June 25, 2024   

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have different views on most issues, and student loan debt is no different. In the Reno-Sparks area, one nonprofit, the Black Community Collective, is in favor of what Biden's been doing to ease the burden of student loans.

Edward Coleman, executive director of The Black Community Collective, applauds the multiple student-loan relief initiatives that Biden has introduced, most recently announcing nearly $8 billion in forgiveness for undergraduate student-loan borrowers.

Coleman said his own student debt was cut by three-fourths because of Biden's actions.

"Just prior to that, my thought was, 'Well, I'll be paying this back forever.' And now it's like, 'Well, this will be paid off, you know, in a few years and then what am I going to do?'" he explained.

Coleman added the assistance will mean he can be more financially free. New data show that about 18% of adults say student loan debt will have a major influence over their vote in the upcoming election.

Opponents of Biden's forgiveness plans say borrowers should pay back their own debts, especially when other working Americans have done so without government assistance.

Coleman said marginalized communities typically have the smallest amount of resources and are more heavily impacted by what he calls "non-progressive policies," such as Trump's approach. The Legal Defense Fund found that the Black-to-white disparity in student loan debt more than tripled just four years after graduation, making it harder for Black students to accumulate wealth. To Coleman, that isn't fair.

"And then, to be saddled with an unreasonable amount of debt for trying to better yourself so that you can improve your community's life, it feels like a punishment," he said.

Trump has called Biden's forgiveness plans "vile" and suggested that if he returns to the White House, those plans could be reversed.

Despite the Supreme Court's move last summer to kill Biden's mass student-loan forgiveness plan, Coleman said Biden's administration has provided unprecedented relief to borrowers.


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