State Reps. Jessica E. Miranda (D-Forest Park) and Catherine Ingram (D-Cincinnati) responded to the news of Ohio State University President Dr. Kristina Johnson’s plans to offer a “zero-debt bachelor’s” degree, saying that this highlights the need to address the immediate financial burden student debt is placing on Ohioans.
“One of the largest public universities in the nation announcing plans to offer a debt-free bachelor’s degree underscores not only the need, but also the feasibility of lifting the burden this debt has placed on too many Ohioans’ shoulders,” said Rep. Miranda. “While it is great that Dr. Johnson plans to make this happen within 10 years at Ohio State, it is clear that immediate legislative action is needed to relieve the financial toll this debt places on working people.”
“Dr. Johnson’s plan for debt-free education is not a permanent solution, rather it is only a Band-Aid fix. The permanent solution to lifting the burden of debt placed on Ohioans during the pandemic and beyond is legislation. HB 32 would lessen the financial burden placed on Ohioans during a time students and families need it most. They simply cannot wait 10 years, they need help now,” said Rep. Ingram.
House Bill (H.B.) 32, sponsored by Reps. Miranda and Ingram, would immediately halt the collection of student and medical debt owed state institutions during the COVID-19 crisis. This emergency legislation recently had its first hearing in front of the House Civil Justice Committee, and awaits further legislative action.