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Rep. Matthew Pouliot (R-Augusta)
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For Immediate Release

Date: 06/06/13

Augusta Rep. Pouliot's Financial Literacy Bill Receives Unanimous Support of Maine House

Faces final votes before heading to Governor's desk for signature

AUGUSTA - The Maine House of Representatives Thursday morning unanimously accepted an "Ought to Pass" recommendation from the legislature's Education Committee on Augusta Rep. Matthew Pouliot's bill to include financial literacy in state public high school curriculums.

"This is the primary piece of legislation I put forward in the first year of my freshman term," said Pouliot. "It took some convincing, but over the course of many meetings and hearings, I'm glad that we were able to build a broad, bipartisan consensus to get this done for Maine students."

The bill, LD 843, would add course work in personal finance as part of the required subject of social studies that must be provided to all high school students as part of the state requirements for awarding a high school diploma. With finance becoming increasingly complex and increasingly relevant in the lives of Americans, expanding its role in public education has been met with wide support. According to the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education, 82 percent of Americans and 89 percent of teachers think that financial literacy should be a part of the high school curriculum.

Another study showed that roughly two-thirds of college students did not take full advantage of lower-interest student loans before borrowing under more expensive options.

"My generation is facing some serious financial challenges, both at the national level with our debt and deficit, and at the personal level with the skyrocketing cost of higher education and uncertain economic conditions," added Pouliot, who is one of Maine's youngest lawmakers at 26 years old. "Not every student has the opportunity to learn about personal finance, there are some who understand the game, and some who don't. I want to level the playing field for all students and make financial knowledge common knowledge."

Pouliot's bill will face a final enactment vote before going to the desk of Governor Paul LePage for his signature. The Governor has pledged his support for the measure.

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Contact:
David Sorensen
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 205-7793