Legislator Proposes Bill to Help Pay Off In-State STEM Degrees For Those With Montana Jobs
Missoula-area legislator Adam Hertz says he has yet to introduce his biggest bill of the session. According to Hertz, the bill would help some in-state graduates from two and four year institutions pay off their student loans.
"A student loan pay off program for students that graduate from the Montana University System in a STEM program, so science, technology, engineering, or math," said Hertz. "With this program, if they graduated with at least a 3.0 GPA, if they stayed in the state and continued to work, they can get at least $3,000 a year for up to four years in student loan pay off assistance."
Hertz believes the bill would help Montana’s students and the economy, by keeping more high paying jobs at home. Furthermore, Hertz says that the bill won’t come with a tax increase.
"My idea would not raise anyone's taxes, it would actually come from lottery money that is coming into the state," Hertz said. "Lottery was meant to support education. It hasn't been supporting education, it is being robbed by the general fund. When folks approved the lottery years ago they expected that it was going to support education and that hasn't been happening."
Though it doesn’t come with a new tax, Hertz acknowledges that the bill will be a tougher sell this year, as the legislature deals with a tighter budget than usual.