Kaniela Ing of Maui was among a slate of legislators across the country on Monday pledging to push for debt-free college in 2016.

The Democrat in the Hawaii House of Representatives joined lawmakers from Ohio, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Illinois and other states supporting an effort from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

State Rep. Kaniela Ing.

Hawaii House of Representatives

PCCC was founded by former members of MoveOn.org, the Democratic Party and a top national union, so it is clearly aligned on the left. The three Democratic presidential candidates support debt-free college.

Ing said in a statement, “Our disincentive for education is completely backwards, and it’s really not a problem for most industrial nations, who enjoy debt-free college. It’s time for our state leaders to stand up and recognize that our system is broken. Higher education should create opportunity and propel students forward, not set them further back.”

Ing pointed out that U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, the Hawaii Democrat, is an original co-sponsor of congressional resolutions on debt-free college, which now have almost 100 co-sponsors.

Debt-free college means that students can graduate from all public colleges and universities with zero debt, PCC promised, through more federal aid to the states, more aid to students “and innovations that reduce college costs.”

Sigh.

Wish this had happened 30 years ago when I was an undergraduate and racking up the loans. Was fun while it lasted, though.

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