A representative from South Carolina has introduced a bill to repeal a law that prevents people with defaulting student loans from working in the state.
The bill, introduced Tuesday by Rep. Marvin Pendarvis, D-Charleston, comes less than a month after the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office fired its chief deputy, Joyce Smith, for defaulting on her student loans. and not having put them back in order. .
Under current state law, a person who has defaulted on a student loan “shall not be employed now or hereafter by the state or any of its departments, agencies, or subdivisions until all defaults are corrected and loan payments are up to date”.
“The question we have to ask ourselves is what forced the sheriff to make this decision,” Pendarvis said, according to WCBD News 2 in Charleston.
Pendarvis added that he wants to help others across the state who may be facing hardship due to student loan law.
“It has a more detrimental impact on communities, people and their livelihoods,” Pendarvis told WCBD. “We have an obligation to make sure we take care of people.”
The issue of rising student loan costs has been a hot topic for some time. On Tuesday, the Department of Education, under President Joe Biden’s administration, announced efforts to bring more than 3.6 million federal student loan borrowers at least three years closer to obtaining loan forgiveness through what is called the income-contingent repayment program.
And under Biden, by March, more than 700,000 borrowers had their outstanding debt paid off.
Pendarvis said he expects his bill to garner broad support. However, it’s still unlikely to have enough time to pass into law this year since the state’s current legislative session is set to end in four weeks.
In addition to Pendarvis, the bill is sponsored by other Charleston-area representatives, including JA Moore, Wendell Gilliard, Spencer Wetmore, Leon Stavrinakis and Deon Tedder.
This story was originally published April 20, 2022 10:11 a.m.