CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A South Carolina lawmaker has filed a bill that would remove a provision barring student loan defaulters from obtaining a government job in the state.

State Representative Marvin Pendarvis filed legislation on Tuesday to remove what he called an obscure provision in South Carolina law that prevents anyone who has defaulted on their student loans from being employed by the state.

The move comes after a top deputy with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, Joyce Smith, was allegedly terminated earlier this month for not paying off her student loans.

“This provision is outdated and illogical,” Rep. Pendarvis said. “It doesn’t make sense why the state of South Carolina prevents student loan defaulters from working in state government. This disproportionately impacts minority job candidates, who are more likely to carry student debt.”

Rep. Pendarvis said, according to Lending Tree, South Carolinians owe a collective $26.2 billion in student loan debt. He said the average person in the state owes more than $36,000 in student loans.