Panel OKs bill to excuse volunteers’ student debt


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Legislation that would offer student loan forgiveness to college graduates who volunteer as first responders is headed for a vote in Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives.

House Bill 1786 was unanimously approved Wednesday by the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee.

State Rep. Chris Sainato (D-Lawrence) said his proposal would establish a program to forgive up to $16,000 in loans after college graduates have served four years with an EMS agency, a volunteer fire company, or a volunteer rescue company.

Sainato said the measure addresses the declining number of volunteer firefighters with an effective recruitment tool that provides a “real-life” incentive to young Pennsylvanians struggling with student loan debt.

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