Gov. Lamont wants to help your boss pay your student loans. Why it won’t cost taxpayers extra

It won’t cost taxpayers any extra money, but time is running out to pass the proposal.

John Craven

Apr 22, 2024, 11:42 PM

Updated 25 days ago

Share:

Thousands of Connecticut workers could see student loan relief under a plan Gov. Ned Lamont is pushing.
It won’t cost taxpayers any extra money, but time is running out to pass the proposal.
STRUGGLING TO MAKE ENDS MEET
Brianna Collins is the kind of worker Connecticut wants to keep. She helps run clinical trials on new spinal treatments for BioHaven Pharmaceuticals in New Haven, after getting a master’s degree from Sacred Heart University in 2021.
But Collins also waits tables and lives with her parents in Shelton – all because of crushing student loan debt.
“I’m getting to the stages where eventually I’ll want to start building my own family, and it will be very hard to do that, with having two jobs,” she said.
STUDENT LOAN TAX CREDIT
Firms like BioHaven want to help pay off their workers’ loans, but a state tax credit is too limited for most employees to qualify.
“We didn't see a lot of candidates where that program would be applicable,” said Sloan Saunders, CEO of InelliHealth.
Right now, businesses can get reimbursed for up to $2,625 for each employee they help every year. But there’s a catch. The tax credit only applies to loans through CHESLA, the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority.
Lamont’s proposal would expand the credit to all student loans.
“A reason for you to – when you graduate, Brianna – to stay in Connecticut,” he said.
Startups said it will keep high-tech workers here.
“We grow our grad students into post docs, and see them fly away,” said Ranjit Bindra, a Yale School of Medicine physician who also owns three start-ups researching cancer treatments. “And often, we want to keep them close to home.”
NO ADDED COST
You’re probably asking how much an expanded tax credit is going to cost. It turns out, nothing extra.
Nonpartisan fiscal analysts say the bill will have no impact on the state budget, because it would cap the student loan tax credit at $10 million – exactly what the existing program costs now.
Collins said the extra help won't change her life, but it’s just enough to get her out of the house and on her own – and keep her working in her home state.
“It would cover a couple of months of what my minimum payments would look like, but it wouldn’t be a substantial amount,” said Collins.
Lamont’s proposal is now awaiting action in the state Senate, but time is running out. Lawmakers only have 16 days left, and hundreds of other bills are awaiting action.


More from News 12