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Happy Women's History Month!

Student Loans, SCOTUS, and Happy Women’s History Month!

Happy Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month is for commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of women’s rights in American history. Did you know that every year has a theme? And that the 2023 Women’s History Month theme is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.” What does that mean?  It means “the recognition of women, past and present, who have been active in all forms of media and storytelling, including print, radio, TV, stage, screen, blogs, podcasts, news, and social media.”

So basically, Kristin and Jane feel like they are obviously included in that criteria. Feel free to celebrate us. 

Student Loans and SCOTUS

If you’re one of the 40 million people who celebrated when you thought the last of your student loans were going to be forgiven, don’t hold your breath. The Supreme Court doesn’t seem to be buying it. Yesterday, it heard oral arguments in two cases challenging the Biden admin student debt relief program. One case is from six Republican-led states that argue President Biden doesn’t have the authority to cancel student loans. The other is from two people who didn’t fully qualify for the relief program.

Reminder:

Biden’s debt relief plan would wipe out up to $20,000 in debt for more than 40 million people. The initial plan canceled up to $10K in federal student loan debt for borrowers making less than $125K or households earning less than $250K, with an additional $10K for Pell Grant recipients (see details), at an estimated cost of $400B over the next 30 years. 53% of borrowers owe less than $20K.

But because of legal disputes, all those people have been left twiddling their thumbs. 

But yesterday, after more than three hours, some conservative justices appeared to focus on the six GOP-led states’ arguments that the admin overstepped its executive authority. There were also concerns about fairness, saying those who took out business loans wouldn’t be granted the same type of forgiveness. Shockingly, Justice Amy Coney Barrett seemed like the potential swing vote.

Many expect the justices to issue their ruling by late June. Until then, student loan repayment is still on pause until August…but so is the forgiveness program. In the meantime, the Supreme Court has two big questions to answer: do the challenges have legal standing, and is the Biden admin’s plan legal and within the scope of the president’s power? Experts say the program is facing an uphill battle, especially since the justices focused on executive power. Meanwhile, Biden has said he’s “confident” he’s got the authority to carry out the plan. 

Wisconsin Biennial Budget Watch

It’s looking like the GOP has finally come to the realization that including a flat tax in their budget is not the hill they are going to die on this time around. 

However, Republicans also likely won’t include Evers’ local sales tax proposal in their budget

And Evers proposes $3.8 billion for building projects. Which is a lot. 

Donate to Your Local Food Pantry

A reminder that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) boost is expiring in 32 states, including Wisconsin, today. Hundreds of thousands of low-income Wisconsinites will now see a drop in their food assistance payments, at a time when food costs are at a record high. So please donate to your local food pantry, cause they are already bracing for high demand.

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