Republican Gov. Scott Walker this week touted his new plan to give college graduates $5,000 over five years if they promise to stay in Wisconsin, while his Democratic challenger says he’s already had eight years to tackle college costs.
Walker faces Democrat Tony Evers, the state schools chief, in the November election.
In a new ad, Walker stands in front of a classroom with what appears to be college students. He speaks about the $5,000 in refundable tax credits, which he wants to make available to graduates from a University of Wisconsin System school or state technical college. The money would be available spread over five years for graduates who remain and work in Wisconsin. The $5,000 credit would be available both to students who graduate with no college debt and those who have debt.
Walker has also called for extending for another four years the UW tuition freeze that has been in place the past six years.
Walker’s proposals would have to be approved by the legislature before taking effect.
Democrats have long accused Walker of not doing enough to address skyrocketing student loan debt. Instead of advocating for allowing students to refinance their loans at lower rates, Walker has emphasized the tuition freeze and now the $5,000 credit.
Evers’ spokesman Sam Lau called Walker’s plan “too little, too late” and said he has had eight years to address the student loan problem but failed to do so. Evers supports a plan that would allow student loans to be refinanced at a lower rate and give a tax break for every student loan holder, not just those who meet certain criteria like Walker’s plan.