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Colorado Governor Signs Two Bills for Affordable College

On Monday, Colorado governor Jared Polis signed two bills to make college more affordable for Colorado families and students, according to a news release from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Gov. Polis signed Senate Bill 19-002 to better regulate student education loan servicers, and House Bill 19-1280, which gives every Colorado child $100 to start a college savings account. The bills were signed during a ceremony at the University of Colorado Boulder.

The Senate Bill 19-002 also creates a student loan ombudsperson to provide timely assistance to student loan borrowers, and appropriates $115,273 to the department of law from the general fund to implement the act.

For each child born or adopted in Colorado on or after January 1, 2020, but before January 1, 2040, House Bill 19-1280 creates the college kickstarter account program to incentivize the creation of a college savings account which will not be counted as income of the child or parents in determining eligibility or benefit amounts for any state-funded program.

“Our goal today is to save students and parents money, and to bring college education to within reach of more families,” Polis said before signing the bills into law.

Various university alumni applauded Polis for signing the new legislation which will help reshape the education landscape for Colorado students.

Colorado senate majority leader Steve Fenberg, a CU Boulder alumnus, spoke before the governor signed Senate Bill 19-002 and thanked New Era representatives for their work on helping to turn the bill into law. He also spoke about why the bill is important to students and their families.

“Higher education affordability is obviously something that is having a big impact on people’s lives, but also on our state’s economy,” Fenberg said. “This bill in and of itself doesn’t solve the problem. But what it does do is make sure that students aren’t being taken advantage of.”

“Our kids will now have $100 in their savings accounts for every baby born or adopted in Colorado,” Rep. Leslie Herod, also a CU Boulder alumnus, added. “Studies have shown that if you have between $100 and $500 in a savings account, you’re more likely to go to college, you’re more likely to do better in school. And we’re so excited to be able to start this here.”

In March, the California Assembly Committee on Higher Education passed Assembly Bill 2 which seeks to make the first two years of community college attendance free for all first-time students, irrespective of their income. The bill has yet to be signed by Governor Gavin Newsom.

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