News Release from the office of State Senator Judith Zaffirini

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2007
Contact: Nick Almanza
(512) 463-0121

Statement from Senator Judith Zaffirini Regarding Student Loan Ethics Practices Legislation

Austin, TX -- "Higher education accessibility, affordability and excellence are among my highest legislative priorities. As the costs of higher education continue to increase rapidly, causing more students to fund their education with student loans, we must remain mindful of our obligation to ensure integrity and accountability within the student lender market.

"My SB 2049 and SB 2048 by Senator Shapleigh would target the conflicts of interest created between student lenders and public and private institutions of higher learning in Texas. Several college and loan companies recently have come under investigation for ethically questionable practices, and several high level college and university administrators throughout the country have perpetrated this conflict of interest in student loans by receiving gifts or consulting fees from loan lenders. Our bills would strengthen Texas laws to prohibit unethical financial relationships between school officials and lenders. I appreciate greatly Senator Shapleigh's work in addressing this growing problem.

"As chair of the Senate Higher Education Subcommittee, I will continue to work with Senator Shapleigh and my colleagues on the committee toward producing a comprehensive bill that significantly would strengthen Texas student lending practices. These bills and SB 2047 by Senator Royce West, D-Dallas, were referred to the Higher Education Subcommittee. We look forward to hearing this essential student loan legislation Monday (May 14)."

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