An aging workforce is one of the leading economic challenges Connecticut and its employers face.
With 23% of the state's workforce older than 55, legislators are searching for creative ways to attract and retain young talent.
The Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee proposed SB 435, which allows qualifying employers to claim a tax credit equal to 50% of contributions made to employees' monthly student loan payments.
Nationwide, there are nearly 44 million borrowers who collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student loans.
These staggering statistics make student loan reimbursement programs one of the most popular employee benefits for the millennial workforce.
A 2018 CBIA survey shows that while 24% of Connecticut businesses provide tuition reimbursement, only 3% offer employees assistance with student loans.
SB 435 could incentivize more employers to offer student loan assistance programs, helping keep graduates in the state.
Addressing growing workforce needs, particularly as the baby boomer generation enters retirement, is imperative, CBIA's Michelle Rakebrand told the committee.
But she urged lawmakers to approach this proposal carefully, as it comes "at a cost due to the loss of tax revenue to the state."