Governor Says Maine Must Fund Student Debt Relief Program

Dec 28, 2017

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's Republican governor is chiding lawmakers for not following through on promises to attract young people to the state by addressing student debt.
A 2016 Maine law created a program to offer zero-interest loans to selected science, technology, engineering and math students. Gov. Paul LePage said he worked with then-Democratic Sen. Justin Alfond on an unsuccessful bill calling for a $10 million bond to provide funding.
Republican Assistant Senate Leader Amy Volk's bill to allow voters to OK such a bond is set for a Jan. 11 hearing.
The state is facing a growing need for skilled workers due its aging population and low unemployment. The governor also noted Maine's recent college graduates face among the nation's highest average student debt, and a particularly high delinquency rate in the Northeast.