Increasing Student Loan Debt; Giving Tuesday; Illinois Veto Session

November 26, 2018

In this May 17, 2018, file photo, new graduates line up before the start of the Bergen Community College commencement at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Obtaining a college degree has increasingly coincided with ever-higher student debt loads. Since 2004, total student debt has climbed more than 540 percent to $1.4 trillion, according to the New York Federal Reserve.

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

On the 21st: Nearly 45 million Americans have student debt, and together and they owe nearly $1.5 trillion. Some experts say this problem could become as big as the last housing crisis if we don’t take action now. Plus, it’s holiday shopping season but tomorrow is also Giving Tuesday. Today we discuss what you need to know in order to donate responsibly to your favorite charities. And, this month the General Assembly is gathering for the last veto session of Governor Rauner’s first and only term. We heard from WTTW’s Amanda Vinicky on which bills could become law.

Many of us have heard this number before: $1.5 trillion - that’s the amount of outstanding student loans in our country. On this show, we discuss what kind of effect is this humongous debt having on the millions of people paying back those loans?

For starters, according to a new report from Student Debt Crisis called “Buried in Debt," many of those who owe tens of thousands of dollars in student debt have less than $1,000 in their bank accounts.

Cody Hounanian joined us, he’s the nonprofit's Program Director. The organization advocates for state and federal policies to lessen the impact of student debt.

And Samantha Morgan was with us as well. Samantha has about $60,000 in student loan debt from her time at UCLA.

Plus --

Last week we talked retail for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But tomorrow is Giving Tuesday, when many people take time to donate to their favorite charities and non-profits.

In 2017, the total amount of money Americans donated went up by more than 5 percent. And here in Illinois, residents gave gave nearly $13.5 million to Illinois non-profits on Giving Tuesday, through the #ILGive Campaign.

Suzy Lee joined us to speak about #ILGive's work. She's the Director of Nonprofit Strategy and Engagement at Forefront, an association of philanthropies, nonprofits and grantmakers that’s behind IL Give. 

Daniel Borochoff, president of the independent watchdog organization CharityWatch, shared his perspective on the issue as well.

And --

This year in politics, the word “November” has been synonymous with Election Day. But it’s also a time for state lawmakers to vote on one last set of bills before the holidays.

It’s called the veto session. From Tuesday to Thursday of this week, the General Assembly will continue to take up bills that the governor vetoed. In this case, it could be as many as dozens of bills. And if you need to brush up on your Illinois civics, it takes three-fifths of the vote in the state House and state Senate to override a governor’s veto and turn a bill into law.

Amanda Vinicky is a correspondent with WTTW Chicago Tonight. She was with us to talk over what to expect.