Bill advances to allow community colleges to collect debts

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The Senate Universities and Colleges Subcommittee unanimously passed a bill Monday that allows community and junior colleges to collect unpaid college debts through a set off against a debtor’s income tax return.

“Right now, colleges are owed an estimate of $98 million from students who previously attended the institutions,” said Kell Smith, a spokesman for the Mississippi Community College Board.

Sponsored by Sen. Josh Harkins, R-Rankin, Senate Bill 2326, goes to the Senate Universities and Colleges Committee for action.

SB 2326 died in committee on Tuesday.

A similar House bill passed that chamber easily last week.