TOPEKA, (KSNT) — Kansas Democrats are following in President Joe Biden’s footsteps, announcing a post-secondary affordability plan on Thursday.
Members of the House Democrats have proposed a three-pronged package to lower costs for secondary educational development opportunities. The package contains benefits for stakeholders at all levels: Students, parents, employers, and the state of Kansas.
The package, which will be presented to lawmakers to consider in January, offers:
- a $150 tax rebate to parents with school-age children for school supplies, books, and fees;
- an extension of the deadline for contributing to Kansas Learning Quest 529 education savings accounts until April 15 of the following year;
- And a tax credit for Kansas businesses allowing them to make certain student loan payments on behalf of employees.
The announcement comes after President Biden announced a student loan forgiveness plan on Wednesday, which will cancel $10,000 in debt for those making less than $125,000 a year.
The president’s decision could have a major impact on midterm elections, possibly increasing turnout among younger voters with outstanding student loan debt.
Republican lawmakers, however, have criticized Biden for his move.
In an interview with Kansas Capitol Bureau Wednesday, U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, said the student loan forgiveness plan will likely be challenged in court.
“I don’t think Congress has given this authority to President Biden to do this…to forgive loans,” Marshall said. “I think it’s going to be very insulting to a lot of hard-working Americans.”
Marshall said he thinks the plan is “unfair” to those who chose not to take out loans or borrow money and had to work several jobs at a time to afford school.
Republican candidate for Governor Derek Schmidt, who will be facing off with democratic Kansas Governor Laura Kelly in November, also weighed in. Schmidt released the following message online following Biden’s announcement.
“The party of Joe Biden and Laura Kelly today laid out their plan to make YOU, the hardworking taxpayer, pay back $300 billion in other people’s student loans. So shameless to buy votes like this – and so unfair to families and students who paid their own way, like by joining the military to pay for college. Plus they want 87,000 new taxpayer-funded IRS agents to audit you. They just don’t get it – Kansas families are struggling and the government just keeps spending more and more.”Derek Schmidt, Republican Candidate for Kansas Governor