A state Senate panel will take up a bill on Tuesday that would allow college graduates to claim a tax credit based on student loan interest payments.
Supporters say skyrocketing student loan debt is causing recent grads to move out of Michigan.
“We have kids graduating Michigan universities with an average of $30,000 in debt. Because of that, they’re having a hard time being part of our economy and also are being forced to move out of state,” said bill sponsor Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr., D-East Lansing.
“We wanted to do something to fix that, to get students to actually stay in the state and invest in the state.”
Senate Bill 57 would allow people to claim a credit of up to $2,150, according to Hertel. They could take advantage of the credit for up to five years after graduating.
Hertel says the state is largely to blame for high levels of student debt because it has made big cuts to public universities.
“And because of that, tuition has skyrocketed. And because of that, obviously, student debt has skyrocketed,” he said.
Similar legislation got a committee hearing in 2013, but did not move in the Legislature.
Hertel admits timing may be an issue this time around. The state is facing significant budget holes this year and next.