On January 29, 2020, Gov. Tony Evers signed Executive Order #67 creating the Governor's Task Force on Student Debt to address the growing student debt crisis in Wisconsin. This task force was chaired by Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI)
Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld and tasked with assessing student debt in
Wisconsin and providing long-term strategies to reduce education-related
debt, prevent abusive practices by loan companies, and improve
financial literacy education.
Task Force Members & Final Report Recommendations
On May 11, 2020, Gov. Evers announced his appointments to the task force. The 32-member task force included borrowers, industry leaders, legislators, financial aid experts, and lenders to share a broad spectrum of ideas and experiences to inform the work of the task force. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the task force convened and completed its work virtually over the course of three months and eight meetings.
After months of research, listening sessions, consultation with external experts and colleagues in other states, the Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt finalized its 120-page report during a WebEx meeting on August 12, 2020. The electronic report includes 37 proposed solutions and eight recommendations approved by the task force during previous meetings.
On August 18, 2020, the Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt announced the release the Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt Final Report to Gov. Evers. The report outlines eight recommendations for how Wisconsin can provide relief, education, and protection to its student debtholders now and in the future. These recommendations
are the result of expansive dialogue between experts from government,
industry, academia, and student loan borrowers:
- Create a Borrower Bill of Rights and Student Loan Ombudsman
- Enhance proprietary school regulations and reinstate the Educational Approval Board
- Improve financial literacy education
- Increase need-based, targeted aid for postsecondary education and create a statewide promise program
- Strengthen student loan counseling
- Consider targeted loan forgiveness programs
- Promote refinancing opportunities with other states
- Create a state student debt relief tax credit. These recommendations are the result of expansive dialogue between experts from government, industry, academia, and student loan borrowers.