Lawmakers are slated to deliberate this week on legislation to repeal the 2023 law creating a loan program for universities in financial straits after its designed recipient, Birmingham-Southern College (BSC), closed its doors for good.

Legislators appropriated $30 million for the program in the Education Trust Fund supplemental bill passed in the 2023 regular session. To be eligible, the college must have operated in the state for over 50 years, be experiencing financial hardship that could lead to the institution's closure and have assets sufficient to pledge as collateral.

Jefferson County Delegates, State Sens. Roger Smitherman (D-Birmingham) and Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia Hills) sponsored the 2023 bill. Jefferson County's Rep. Juandalynn Givan (D-Birmingham) carried the bill in the House.

According to Givan, the BSC situation served as the catalyst, but it would help other colleges in similar financial straits.

However, the loan program did not work as desired after State Treasurer Young Boozer denied BSC a $30 million loan. The school announced it was closing its doors after a bill by Waggoner to replace Boozer as the loan program administrator died on the legislative vine.

See: Birmingham-Southern College to close in May after $30 million state loan stalls in House.

Now, Givan has introduced another bill, House Bill 415, to repeal the Distressed Institutions of Higher Education Revolving Loan Program altogether.

The bill, which has a bipartisan group of 13 cosponsors, will be up before the House Ways and Means Education Committee on Wednesday.

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