Legislature(2001 - 2002)

2001-03-21 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

2001-03-21                     Senate Journal                      Page 0754
SB 155                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 155 BY THE SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                                                   
BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR, entitled:                                                               
          "An Act relating to the Alaska Commission on                                              
          Postsecondary Education and the Alaska Student                                            
          Loan Corporation; relating to student financial aid                                       
          programs and the financing of those programs;                                             
          establishing the Alaska Advantage Loan Program and                                        
          the Alaska Supplemental Education Loan Program;                                           
          increasing the bonding authorization of the Alaska                                        
          Student Loan Corporation; providing for liens                                             
          resulting from a default under AS 14.43 or AS 14.44;                                      
          relating to the duties of the recorder regarding those                                    
          liens; relating to defaults under the Western Regional                                    
          Higher Education Compact; relating to the                                                 
           prohibition  on   discrimination   regarding   programs                                 

2001-03-21                     Senate Journal                      Page 0755
          under AS 14.43; relating to fees for the review of                                        
          certain postsecondary institutions; making                                                
          conforming amendments; and providing for an                                               
          effective date."                                                                          
was read the first time and referred to the Health, Education and Social                            
Services and Finance Committees.                                                                    
The following fiscal information was published today:                                               
 Fiscal Note No. 1, Department of Education and Early                                               
Governor's transmittal letter dated March 20:                                                       
Dear President Halford:                                                                             
Alaska's student loan program has achieved great success in the past                                
few years. The Commission on Postsecondary Education and the                                        
Alaska Student Loan Corporation have turned the program around --                                   
running it in the black for the first time in history and paying a                                  
dividend back to the state. This year the dividend payment is $2.2                                  
million with another $4 million expected for fiscal year 2002. All of                               
this while serving over 90,000 Alaska student loan customers with                                   
$615 million in loans.                                                                              
This bill I transmit today establishes the AlaskAdvantage Loan                                      
Program, the next step in continuing the growth and financial integrity                             
of the state student loan program. Under this legislation, Alaska would                             
participate in the federal guaranteed student loan program which                                    
brings benefits including low interest rates for borrowers and reduced                              
risk to the state through federal loan guarantees.                                                  
This bill also creates a supplemental loan program to provide financial                             
assistance in the event the AlaskAdvantage Loan is insufficient to                                  
cover education costs or the student does not qualify for assistance                                
under the federal guaranteed student loan program.                                                  
This bill will create a one-stop financial aid information center and                               
financial opportunity, guaranty the lowest possible borrowing rates,                                
streamline aid delivery and reduce financial risk to the State through                              

2001-03-21                     Senate Journal                      Page 0756
the federal guarantee. This program will also offer expanded options                                
for borrowers with special needs in loan repayment.                                                 
At a time when access to quality education is at the forefront of our                               
legislative agenda, I urge your prompt and favorable action on this                                 
                                 Tony Knowles