Georgia Watch supports legislation that protects the professional licenses of student loan borrowers.
- Senate Bill 92, introduced by Senator Brandon Beach (R – Alpharetta) prohibits professional licensing boards from refusing to issue a license to a student loan borrow who is in default of their student loan.
- House Bill 42, introduced by Representative Scot Turner (R- Holly Springs) also seeks to prohibit this practice, as well as prohibit the revoking or suspension of a professional license due to a borrower’s default of a student loan.
Update: By the end of the 2019 legislative session, the content of both SB 92 and HB 42 were included in a larger bill, Senate Bill 214. This bill passed both houses, and was signed into law on July 1, 2019.
Why is this important?
Prior to the passage of SB 214, Georgia was one of the 15 states that could suspend the professional licenses of individuals who have fallen behind on their student loans. Nationally, such licensing suspension laws were largely the result of a crackdown on delinquent borrowers throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The U.S. Department of Education recommended that states adopt these laws, and many did. It is certainly important to hold borrowers accountable, but this must be done responsibly. As it stands, this policy is counterproductive and essentially pushes workers into poverty.