Congressional Panel Votes To Repeal Drug Conviction Penalty Blocking Education Tax Credit

MJ moment

A key House committee on Wednesday approved a budget reconciliation bill that contains a provision to lift a ban that prevent people with certain drug convictions from utilizing an education-related tax credit. The House Ways and Means Committee agreed to drop the restriction, which currently precludes those with felony drug convictions at the state or federal level from claiming the American Opportunity Tax Credit. That tax benefit can be claimed for expenses paid for tuition, fees and course materials for higher education. Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) has been pushing to end the punitive provision of the tax legislation, which was first enacted in 2009. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) is also championing the reform in his chamber. “The current law banning individuals with felony drug convictions from ever receiving a key tax credit toward enrolling in college violates the principle of giving people a second chance after they have served their time. That needs to change,” Van Hollen said in a Facebook post celebrating the House panel’s move. “We must provide students with every opportunity to succeed in achieving a higher education and pursuing a better life—this is one way we can do that.”   The current statute stipulates that the American Opportunity Tax Credit “shall not be allowed for qualified tuition and related expenses for the enrollment or attendance of a student for any academic period if such student has been convicted of a Federal or State felony offense consisting of the possession or distribution of a controlled substance before the end of the taxable year with or within which such period ends.” Van Hollen said scrapping the penalty will help people “obtain a post-secondary education and ultimately contribute to our workforce and economy.” Advocates agree, arguing that the policy unfairly imposes an extra burden on students caught up…

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Source : Congressional Panel Votes To Repeal Drug Conviction Penalty Blocking Education Tax Credit

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