WGME is reporting that a bill has been passed by the Maine legislature to encourage young Mainer's to stay in their home state. The idea behind the bill is to give young Mainer's the opportunity to stay in their home state by being able to afford a home despite burdening student loan debt.

According to WGME, if the bill becomes passed it would be likely to see a pilot program created where young Mainer's with student loan debt could roll their debt into a mortgage for a first home.

 

Maine's student loan debt averages nearly $30,000. The Maine Education Association states that students in Maine are 7th in the nation for highest student loan debt amount. Additionally, young Mainer's with little accumulated wealth and little savings have to compete with out-of-staters in a wild real estate market during the pandemic that has ballooned out of control for the average young Mainer looking to plant their roots and buy a first home right now.

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Putting young Mainer's at more disadvantage would continue to put Maine in the position of a continued decrease of young people residing in the state, continuing a trend seen for years of young Mainer's leaving their home state. Even if young people stay in the state, a 2018 report from the Maine State Economist and Department of Administrative and Financial Services states that Maine will still need transplants to support the economic future: "Maine reached the point earlier this decade where the
number of deaths each year is greater than the number of births. In this situation, the only way Maine’s population grows is through migration."

The bill was passed by Maine's legislature on Thursday and will now move to the Governor's desk to be signed, vetoed or become law without a signature in the next 10 days.

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