A measure meant to expand a student debt relief program meant to benefit public service workers to include more teachers and faculty was signed into law on Thursday by Gov. Kathy Hochul. 

The new law is also aimed at simplying the process for certifying employment through the U.S. Department of Education on behalf of a group of workers so they can access the debt forgiveness program. 

At the same time, Hochul also announced a statewide effort to promote the program, known as the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, before it is set to expire at the end of October. 

Hochul, at a signing ceremony in New York City, said she wanted more people to apply for the loan forgiveness program before it lapses on Oct. 31. The program applies to a variety of public-sector workers, including health care workers, police, firefighters, teachers and other professions. 

"These are the people that we turned to in our darkest days — our darkest days in 100 years," Hochul said. "Too many public service servants have been left high and dry."

The bill Hochul signed will expand the program to include teachers and faculty who work 30 hours a week to consider them full-time employees. 

The legislation comes as President Joe Biden last month moved to extinguish student debt for people who carry up to $20,000 and have qualifying incomes. 

Hochul called the debt relief efforts important given they can help people move forward into the next stage of their lives, like starting a family or buying a home. 

"Student debt doesn't just defer your dreams, it can derail your life," Hochul said.