Jack Franks has introduced HB 5323 without any thought of fiscal responsibility or government restraint. The bill requires 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 Pay It Forward/Pay It Back program.
According to the bill, the commission also must conduct a survey of similar programs within all 50 states, with specific regard to funding and feasibility.
Franks feels all of this data can be collected, analyzed, and a report submitted before Dec. 1, 2014. 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 whose mission statement is "Making college accessible and affordable for Illinois students." Does it sound like ISAC will have the taxpayer in mind when they make their 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 by placing a 5 percent natural gas severance tax.
The bill 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 will ultimately burden the taxpayer.
It is time to stop this program in Illinois before it starts, Contact your state senators and representatives today.