Gov. Signs Slatter Bill Increasing Access to Public Service Loan Forgiveness

OLYMPIA – Today, the Governor signed House Bill 1950, which represents a step forward in alleviating the burden of student loan debt for public servants. Sponsored by Representative Vandana Slatter (D-Bellevue), who chairs the House Postsecondary Education & Workforce Committee, the bill ensures clear and consistent information reaches public servants about their eligibility and path to forgiveness.

House Bill 1950 aligns state law with recent changes to the federal Public Service Loan Program (PSLF), aiming to retain crucial workers in public service sectors like healthcare, education, behavioral health, and government. Over 16,000 Washingtonians received nearly $1 billion in loan forgiveness through PSLF between 2021 and 2023, highlighting the program’s significance.

“This program lends a hand to workers like teachers, firefighters, nurses and mental health counselors so they can stay in the careers they love, serve their communities, and provide for their families,” said Representative Slatter. “At a time when Washington has a workforce shortage in public sector jobs, this legislation provides important resources to help families succeed and also strengthen economy.”

“Public servants are often paid less than their private sector counterparts,” said Senator Marko Liias (D-Edmonds). “They do so much for our communities and it’s important for us to find ways to give back to the people who give so much to us.”

Additionally, HB 1950 modifies full-time employment certification calculations to better support part-time academic employees seeking Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) benefits.

House Bill 1950 takes effect on June 5th, 2024. More info can be found here.