Urge Gov. Hochul to sign Public Student Loan Forgiveness bill into law

Please take a moment to send this letter to Gov. Kathy Hochul, urging her to sign S.8389-C (Thomas)/A.9523-B (Epstein), which will help thousands of state public employees saddled with student debt have some or all of it forgiven through the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.

The new law would amend state labor law to give full-time employment status to public employees who work at least 30 hours per week. It expands PSLF eligibility and ensures that debt forgiveness, cancellation, or discharge will not be subject to taxation or required to be reported on individual income tax returns.

While the PSLF program has helped many public service workers, it excludes employees like adjunct professors, ignoring the vital role they play in our public higher education system. A significant number of United University Professions' members, about 38%, are adjuncts.

That's because many adjuncts are credited only for classroom hours. Time spent working on lectures and materials, responding to students, and at office hours isn't counted. The new law would change labor law to credit adjunct professors with 3.35 hours for each hour spent in class time—but only for purposes of the PSLF program. The new law would also require New York employers—for PSLF purposes only—to treat 30 hours a week worked as full-time employment.

An estimated 525,000 New Yorkers—or roughly 1-in-5 of the state’s 2.4 million people with student loans—would qualify for PSLF and could have their loans forgiven with these important changes in place.

Thank you for sending this letter!