By Bob Katzen
The Senate approved legislation that would repeal current state laws which create professional licensure consequences for anyone who defaults on their student loan. Under existing law, a borrower’s state-issued professional or occupational certificate, registration or license can be suspended, revoked or cancelled if the borrower is in default on an education loan. The House has already approved the measure and only final approval is necessary in each branch prior to the measure going to Gov. Charlie Baker.
“As a former seventh grade public school teacher and an education attorney for more than a decade, I’ve come to expect Massachusetts to be identified as a pioneer in a promising practice or out in front on an education issue,” said sponsor Rep. Kate Lipper-Garabedian (D-Melrose). “So I was quite surprised to find that Massachusetts is one of the only states that mandates the denial of professional licenses to student loan defaulters. This draconian approach prevents an individual from access to the profession for which he or she has trained and has the perverse result of furthering hindering their ability to earn a living and making it more difficult to make loan payments. And as families work to recover from the financial fallout of the pandemic, the last thing the state should do is deny them access to their professional pursuits because of student loan defaults.”