Virginie refinances higher education debt

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced on Tuesday that the state will refinance part of its debt to save millions of dollars for higher education over the next two years.

“A side effect of the pandemic has the potential to help our public colleges — that’s the low interest rates we’re seeing right now,” Northam said during the announcement. “There is a significant opportunity for our Commonwealth and our public higher education institutions to save money by restructuring our debt.”

The debt restructuring project will save more than $300 million over the next two calendar years and three fiscal years. Northam has already authorized the refinancing of a set of bonds. Refinancing another set will require state legislation, which is expected to pass in the next legislative session.

Northam made the announcement at George Mason University alongside Aubrey Lane, Virginia’s finance secretary, and Gregory Washington, George Mason’s president.

The university currently has 31 active cases of COVID-19 on campus, the lowest of any public college in Virginia, according to Washington.

“You being here today is probably safer than anywhere you could be in the Commonwealth except your home,” Washington told Northam during the announcement.

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