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Martin O'Malley, the former Maryland governor who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, is today releasing a proposal to create debt-free college options in public higher education. O'Malley's plan would take five years to carry out, but immediately he would create new loan refinancing options and limit monthly repayments based on income. Longer term, he would reduce the need for borrowing by calling on states to freeze public tuition rates, while creating new state-federal spending programs to add funds to public college budgets. O'Malley's plan calls for bringing four-year public tuition levels down to 10 percent of median income in a state (5 percent for community colleges). He says that the rates are more than 20 percent of median income in 10 states. Other parts of the plan would increase the value of Pell Grants and support efforts to speed up time to completion.

There are no details in the plan about how it would be financed, but aides told The Washington Post it could be paid by eliminating corporate tax loopholes and increases in the capital gains tax.