House Representative

Zwiener, Erin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 05/21/2019

Rep. Erin Zwiener Cosponsors Bill to Address Student Debt

Austin, TX — The Texas House advanced bipartisan legislation today to protect Texans who have defaulted on their student loans from losing their occupational licenses. A March report in the Texas Tribune found over 4,200 Texans were at risk of losing their licenses to work in 2017 because they were in default on their student loan payments. State Rep. Erin Zwiener cosponsored Senate Bill 37 by Sen. Judith Zaffirini, saying the bill begins to address the looming issue of student debt in Texas.

“As a Texan with student loans, I know the burden of starting a career, buying a home, and making other investments with college debt,” Rep. Zwiener said. “SB 37 protects Texans from further financial struggle by ensuring they cannot lose their licenses while still drowning in student loans. We cannot expect folks to pay off their debt while taking away their income stream at the same time.”

In the last five years, 250 Texans had applications to renew their teaching licenses denied due to student loan debt, according to the Texas Education Agency. Texas ranks second in highest college debt in the nation while the average Texan’s student loans came in at over $27,000 as of 2017.

“I am proud of our bipartisan work to protect Texans with student debt from losing their occupational licenses, but there is still work to do,” Rep. Zwiener said. “College costs are skyrocketing, student debt is increasing, and Texans are hurting even before they begin their careers. We must continue the work to reduce the cost of higher education and allow future generations to reach their fullest potential.”

Contact: Graham Senor