AUGUSTA — The Maine Legislature is considering a proposal that would forgive up to $40,000 in student loan debt for first-time homebuyers.

The bill would provide one-time funds for mortgages to first-time homebuyers who have student loan debt. First-time buyers would utilize a program that allows them to obtain a Maine State Housing Authority loan and to receive student debt forgiveness.

The proposal was the subject of a public hearing before a committee on Tuesday.

The Maine State Housing Authority testified on the proposal, but did not take a position for or against it.

“Given the large quantities of student debt among college graduates today, the program would likely experience demand well in excess of available funding,” Erik Jorgensen, senior director of government relations for the authority, testified.

Democratic Senate President Troy Jackson testified in favor of the proposal. He said lawmakers “have an opportunity to attract and retain young people by supporting a program that increases homeownership and provides student debt relief.”

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