Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Nixon Blasts MOHELA Cuts

Leader LeVota Also Takes Aim
DEMS Point to Blunt's promises

Attorney General Jay Nixon said Tuesday that a "quietly reached decision" last week by the MOHELA board "to eliminate several critical student benefit programs" will force more Missouri students to pay higher rates on their student loans.

Nixon released a statement blasting the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority's decision to get rid of the Public Service Reward Program and Rate Relief Program.

"With tuition skyrocketing at our colleges and universities, this was a major step in the wrong direction," Nixon said in a statement. “When Gov. Blunt raided MOHELA’s assets, the one thing he assured us was that it would cause no harm to Missouri students. It was obvious -- at least to those of us who fought the MOHELA raid from the beginning -- that Missouri students would end up paying the price. And now they are."

“I believe a college education is a key to achieving the American Dream, and I am more committed than ever to creating a pathway to a four-year degree for every Missourian who is willing to work hard and play by the rules. We must put the dream of a college degree within reach for every Missouri family," Nixon added.

The Democratic candidate for Governor said the elimination of these programs "has left MOHELA virtually indistinguishable from for-profit loan agencies such as Sallie Mae and NelNet."

House Minority Leader Paul LeVota also said that Missouri students are paying the price of Gov. Blunt's poor decision. "For decades Missouri students have been able to attend college through low-interest MOHELA student loans. At the time of the MOHELA debate, Democrats tirelessly argued that raiding millions from MOHELA would make college less affordable and less accessible for Missouri students and their families. Sadly, Matt Blunt and his legislative allies sold off the loan authority’s assets, mislead Missourians about the consequences, and now generations of Missouri students will pay the price," Rep. LeVota said.

Democrats are pointing to numerous statements made by the Governor, promising that students "would have as good or better a loan program as they have now."

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