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Biss’ Student Loan Bill of Rights to become law despite Rauner’s veto

biss 040517In a move to stand with college students and their families, the Illinois General Assembly overrode Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a Student Loan Bill of Rights Tuesday, with the Illinois House voting 98-16.

Sponsored by Senator Daniel Biss, the initiative of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office will hold lending companies accountable to bad-faith practices like roping students into loans with terms they may not understand or pressuring borrowers into deferments that ultimately serve only to prolong their indebtedness and harm their credit.

Included in the legislation are requirements that student loan servicers must provide specialized employees to assist borrowers struggling with their student loan payments, train specialists to provide borrowers with all their repayment options, explain that borrowers may be eligible for repayment options tied to their income before they offer any other options and evaluate a borrower’s financial situation to help determine which payment plan is best. Other provisions ban servicers from misleading borrowers or charging unreasonable fees.

The Illinois Senate moved to override the governor’s veto of the legislation last month. With the House’s vote, the measure will become law despite the governor’s veto, effective immediately.

Senator Daniel Biss

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9th Senate District

Years served: 2011 - 2012 (House); 2013 - Present (Senate)

Associated Representatives: Laura Fine; Robyn Gabel

Committee assignments: Education; Environment and Conservation; Executive Appointments; Human Services; Labor (Chairperson); Revenue.

Biography: Full-time legislator; former University of Chicago math professor; doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and undergraduate degree from Harvard University. Served one term in the House before his election to the Senate. Resides in Evanston with his wife, Karin, and their children, Elliot and Theodore. Co-chair of a bipartisan pensions working group in the House and chair of the Digital Divide Elimination Advisory Committee.