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Proposed pilot program aims to provide student loan relief to certain Connecticut workers

Corey Paris (D-Stamford) and Christine Palm (D-Chester) go over notes before speaking on the student loan debt bill on March 27, 2023, at the Legislative Office Building, Hartford, Conn.
Dave Wurtzel
Connecticut Public
State Reps. Corey Paris, D-Stamford, and Christine Palm, D-Chester, go over notes before speaking on the student loan debt bill on March 27, 2023, at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, Conn.

Some Connecticut state lawmakers are proposing legislation to establish a student loan reimbursement pilot program for certain essential workers.

To qualify, participants would need to meet several requirements, including being employed full time as a nurse, teacher, mental health worker or social services employee. The bill also would establish salary limits: $100,000 for someone who's not married or for married people filing separate income tax returns and $125,000 for someone who's married and filing jointly or as head of household.

Participants would also need to do nonprofit volunteer work.

This relief program would offer up to $5,000 a year for four years, legislators said.

Lawmakers gathered Monday at the state Capitol to promote the effort.

State Rep. Gary Turco, D-Newington, said the pilot program would give essential workers a reason to live, work, buy a home and raise families in Connecticut.

“This student loan debt relief program ... is going to provide that added incentive,“ he said. ”It’s going to attract people to these vital workforce fields and it’s going to help our entire economy.”

The bill is scheduled to be discussed Tuesday before the Appropriations Committee.

Lesley Cosme Torres is an Education Reporter at Connecticut Public. She reports on education inequities across the state and also focuses on Connecticut's Hispanic and Latino residents, with a particular focus on the Puerto Rican community. Her coverage spans from LGBTQ+ discrimination in K-12 schools, book ban attempts across CT, student mental health concerns, and more. She reports out of Fairfield county and Hartford.

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