The New Jersey Assembly unanimously approved a resolution urging the President and Congress to establish a student loan forgiveness program for healthcare first responders.
The bill calls upon the federal government to offer the aid those working on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. The bipartisan bill was sponsored by Assembly members Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-37), Christopher DePhillips (R-40) and Serena DiMaso (R-13).
Assemblywoman Vanieri Huttle credited the doctors, nurses, and emergency medical services workers who formed the backbone of both the state and nation’s response to the public health crisis. Additionally, she noted the program was not so different from existing federal progams.
“The federal government already has a loan forgiveness program in place for doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers and others working in public service. In these deeply uncertain times, we should extend the same opportunity for all doctors, nurses and first responders on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
Assemblyman DePhillips expressed his pride in the unanimous vote and show of support for frontline healthcare workers across the state.
“The least we can do for these heroes, who are risking their lives every day, is to ensure they don’t return home from this battle to a mountain of federal student loan debt,” he said.
Assemblywoman DiMaso lauded the first responders’ efforts in the face of the pandemic and the sacrifices they had made.
“They have sacrificed their safety, time with loved ones, and so much more as they fight this pandemic. I am thrilled that my colleagues in the Assembly can see how important it is to give back to these residents by asking Congress to provide student loan debt forgiveness,” said DiMaso.