CHRONICLE: Lawmakers overrule Rauner; pass Student Loans Bill of Rights

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Tuesday the Illinois House voted to override Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of a bill that would ensure student loan servicers are being transparent with borrowers about their repayment options.

The House voted 98-16 to pass the bill “ensuring that [lenders] provide borrowers the best possible terms for repaying their student loans.”

“The student loan crisis is a huge drain on our state’s economy and on the next generation of Illinoisans,” Rep. Will Guzzardi, the bill’s sponsor, said in a statement.

“Today, we came together to make sure that millions of Illinoisans get the most favorable terms for paying those loans back.”

The bill also requires lenders to be licensed by the state, and borrowers will have access to a new ombudsman’s office to address complaints against lenders.

32 Republicans in the House voted with Democrats to override Rauner’s veto.

“I think it demonstrates that a lot of my Republican colleagues are tired of the Governor trying to force them to put his priorities ahead of their constituencies’ priorities,” Guzzardi said.

“They’re saying, ‘Enough of that. I’m going to vote with what my constituents need.’ ”

Rauner previously said the bill would add “confusion.”

Illinois students are some of the highest borrowers in the country. According to a study by the Institute for College Access and Success, students who graduated in 2014 from Illinois colleges and universities had an average debt of $28,984, the 16th highest among states.

Illinois ranks 11th of all states for students who must borrow to attend school, with 67 percent of these students graduating with loans in 2014.

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