Republican legislators in Virginia have blocked the progress of a bill that would limit colleges’ ability to withhold transcripts from students who owe them money, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.
The legislation was defeated by a Virginia House committee for the second year in a row, after the Senate unanimously approved it. The sponsor of the bill, Ghazala Hashmi, a Democratic state senator, had softened the measure by limiting it to students who owed less than $500 or those who had made at least three straight monthly payments toward the debt. The measure appeared to run into partisan differences between the House and the Senate.
Transcript holds, in which colleges and universities prevent former students from receiving academic transcripts they need for employment or enrollment at a new institution because of their debts to the institution, have come under increasing scrutiny nationally.
Research by the Virginia Poverty Law Center found that nearly 100,000 students in the state have been affected by these policies.