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A bill proposed by Gov. Paul LePage and Rep. Martin Grohman, I-Biddeford, would create a $50 million general obligation bond to offer no-interest student loans as well as loan refinancing. It recently received strong support at a public hearing held by the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs. The $50 million fund created by LD 1834 would enable the Finance Authority of Maine to offer zero-interest student loans and loan consolidation or refinancing interest rate reductions for Maine residents who agree to live and work in Maine for at least five years. Proponents say the measure will encourage more young people to live and work in the state and perhaps alleviate the demographic winter Maine faces as the state with the oldest average age (44.6 years in 2016).
Do you believe making zero-interest student loans available to students who agree to live and work in Maine will stem the brain drain of young Mainers leaving the state for opportunities elsewhere?

03/27/18 AT 07:42 AM
It may provide the incentive needed to retain or recruit these people.

03/22/18 AT 10:08 AM
This will help retain young Mainers as long as the interest rates are forgiven while they are working in Maine and are charged when they move away. Who will administer this?

03/21/18 AT 03:18 PM
This policy appears to be for Maine's future and stands on its own. However, one must ask where the money is coming from...whether the resources come from a redirection of general assistance or food support dollars. It shouldn't be either or...rather both.

03/21/18 AT 03:54 PM
It won't hurt, and it may help. That said, I doubt zero interest loans alone will be enough for young graduates to stay in Maine. A better strategy may be a forgiveness program on the principal.

03/21/18 AT 02:46 PM
If the job they want after college isn't available in Maine, they'll take the job out of state and pay the penalty.

03/21/18 AT 02:19 PM
Anything that is an incentive cannot hurt.

03/21/18 AT 02:19 PM
Zero-interest student loans are a start but we need to go further. Student debt delays young folks starting families, buying houses, starting businesses and growing Maine's economy.

03/21/18 AT 02:01 PM
Yes, a bit, but it doesn't go far enough. Why not offer something similar to Maine natives who are educated elsewhere, but come back to Maine jobs? And why not incentivize kids who go to school here and stay....?

03/21/18 AT 12:31 PM
If there are jobs to be had here for them.

03/21/18 AT 12:25 PM
Yes, finally, Maine is realizing that concrete and meaningful steps are required to attract young professionals. They may want to come here for the quality of life but few will make the financial sacrifices without some sort of compensation. Convince sufficient numbers of talented younger workers to Maine and the rest will take care of itself.