To the Editor:
Jack Franks has introduced HB 5323 without any thought of fiscal responsibility or government restraint.
The bill requires the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to undertake a study focusing on the “intricacies, details, and mechanics of funding” to determine the practical and fiscal impacts of adopting a program in Illinois similar to Pennsylvania’s program (http://www.senatorleach.com/payitforward).
ISAC also shall conduct a survey of similar programs within the 50 states, with specific regard to funding and feasibility. Franks feels all of this data can be collected and analyzed, and a report submitted before Dec. 1. A whopping 10 months to decide whether another government bureaucracy should be created? I think we already know the answer the commission will supply.
Why are we trusting the decision of the ISAC, a government agency whose website promotes fiscal irresponsibility and mission statement is “Making college accessible and affordable for Illinois students”? Does it sound like ISAC will have the taxpayer in mind when it makes its decision?
I urge you to investigate Pennsylvania’s program and educate yourself. Initial seed funding for the Pay It Forward Pay It Back Pennsylvania Program would be obtained with a 5 percent natural gas severance tax.
It also defers payments while a borrower is enrolled in a postgraduate degree program – a flaw our current government student financial aid system has.
It also minimizes nonpayment and collection issues which ultimately will burden the taxpayer. It is time to stop this program in Illinois before it starts, contact your state senators and representatives today.