In an attempt to gin up the youth vote for the November election, U.S. Senator Richard "Dick" Durbin has co-sponsored and written legislation that will allow students who declare bankruptcy to get rid of their taxpayer-financed student loan debt, and subsidize (again with tax money) textbook purchases.
At the moment, student debt, which is the result of ever-increasing tuition costs driven by government subsidized student loans, cannot be erased by filing bankruptcy. Durbin thinks this is wrong and argues that the government must step in and protect students from the debt they've accrued as a result of government loans. He's calling his bill a student-loans “bill of rights.”
In addition, Durbin has introduced legislation called the Affordable College Textbook Act, which is co-sponsored by Minnesota Senator Al Franken (D). The bill would create a taxpayer-subsidized grant program for colleges and universities around the country to develop and expand the use of open-source textbooks. In other words, working taxpayers would now pay for the writing, updating, printing, and use of textbooks, which would then be free online for students.
Durbin is working in coordination with Democrat Senators Elizabeth Warren and Jack Reed, who have also introduced student-focused legislation designed to turn out the youth vote in November.