Take Me Home
What We're Up Against
West Virginians are leaving because they’re saddled with student and medical debt, and they’re unable to pay off that debt here at home.
Nearly three quarters of new graduates in West Virginia carry student debt, at an average of nearly $30,000 each. We also have the highest rate of student loan default in the nation.
Additionally, because of our broken healthcare system, about one-third of West Virginians have unpaid medical bills. And that was before the pandemic, which has caused 3.5 million Americans to lose their employer-based healthcare.
As a result of all of this, we’re losing about 44 of our neighbors and family members every day, roughly 34,500 people since 2008. It doesn’t have to be this way.
This program will be administered through the Public Bank of West Virginia.
- Provide up to $30,000 in loan forgiveness per person over a decade, using a payment system modeled on the debt forgiveness program in Kansas
Jobs eligible under the debt forgiveness plan include:
- Frontline workers fighting addiction crisis and the pandemic
- Mountaineer Service Corps members
- Postal workers, and more.
- Make it illegal to garnish wages, tax refunds, or seize property for student or medical debt.
- Vastly increase licensing fees and bonding for debt collectors in the state of West Virginia, and use the revenue to fund consumer protection services.
- Aggressively pursue violations of debt collection laws, revoke permits for violating companies, and pursue harassment charges against company executives.
- Leverage the State Bank of West Virginia to negotiate with lenders and the federal government to forgive as much debt as possible.
No one politician or slate of candidates can win this plan alone. We need you.
If you have an idea for how to make this plan stronger, or if you would like to lend a hand to win it, contact our co-chair Stephen Smith at email@example.com.