LETTER Dancer bill to reduce student loan debt with NJ jobs

Recent college graduates are moving out of New Jersey at an alarming rate, and Assemblyman Ron Dancer has introduced legislation to slow the mass exodus.

The bill (A5272) encourages employers to hire and retain New Jersey graduates with science, technology, engineering and mathematics degrees from state universities and colleges. Employers can earn business tax credits by paying up to $5,000 per year of student loan debt.

“Brain drain takes a toll on New Jersey business,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “Our state colleges are producing talented young workers who are well-prepared for today’s challenging business climate. The tax credit helps companies fill job openings with qualified employees and helps our New Jersey resident graduates with their onerous student loan burdens.”

More millennials, age 22 to 37, are leaving New Jersey than any other state. The New Jersey Business and Industry Association reports 22,000 millennials moved away in 2015, while Pennsylvania gained 19,000 that same year.

“If New Jersey is to be competitive, we have to retain young people with education in the STEM fields. That’s what this bill delivers,” said Dancer. “When students graduate, they realize they have to start paying off their student loans. We can entice them to stay in their home state with good-paying jobs and help with their college debt burden