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SF 132

as introduced - 86th Legislature (2009 - 2010) Posted on 02/09/2010 02:10am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to higher education; establishing a veterinarian education loan
forgiveness program; appropriating money; proposing coding for new law in
Minnesota Statutes, chapter 17.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

new text begin [17.119] LARGE ANIMAL VETERINARIAN LOAN FORGIVENESS
PROGRAM.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Definitions. new text end

new text begin (a) For purposes of this section, the following terms
have the meanings given.
new text end

new text begin (b) "Veterinarian" means an individual who has been awarded a doctor of veterinary
medicine degree from the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota.
new text end

new text begin (c) "Designated rural area" means an area in Minnesota outside the counties of
Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington, excluding the cities of
Duluth, Mankato, Moorhead, Rochester, and St. Cloud.
new text end

new text begin (d) "Emergency circumstances" means those conditions that make it impossible for
the participant to fulfill the service commitment, including death, total and permanent
disability, or temporary disability lasting more than two years.
new text end

new text begin (e) "Qualified educational loan" means a government, commercial, or foundation
loan for actual costs paid for tuition, reasonable education expenses, and reasonable living
expenses related to the education of a veterinarian.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Establishment; administration. new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner of agriculture shall
establish and administer a loan forgiveness program for large animal veterinarians who:
new text end

new text begin (1) agree to practice in designated rural areas that are considered underserved; and
new text end

new text begin (2) work full time in a practice that is at least 50 percent involved with the care of
food animals.
new text end

new text begin (b) Appropriations made to the program do not cancel and are available until
expended.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Eligibility. new text end

new text begin (a) To be eligible to participate in the loan forgiveness program,
an individual must:
new text end

new text begin (1) be a veterinarian who has been awarded a veterinary medicine degree within
three years of submitting an application under this section, or be enrolled in the
veterinarian degree program and making satisfactory progress in the College of Veterinary
Medicine, University of Minnesota; and
new text end

new text begin (2) submit an application to the commissioner of agriculture in the form and manner
prescribed by the commissioner.
new text end

new text begin (b) An applicant selected to participate must sign a contract agreeing to complete a
five-year service obligation to practice as required under subdivision 2, paragraph (a).
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Loan forgiveness. new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner of agriculture may select a
maximum of five applicants each year for participation in the loan forgiveness program,
within the limits of available funding. Applicants are responsible for securing their own
qualified educational loans.
new text end

new text begin (b) The commissioner must select participants based on their suitability for
practice serving the designated rural area, as indicated by experience or training. The
commissioner must give preference to applicants closest to completing their training.
new text end

new text begin (c) The commissioner must make annual disbursements directly to the participant of
$15,000 or the balance of the participant's qualifying educational loans, whichever is less,
for each year that a participant meets the service obligation required under subdivision 3,
paragraph (b), up to a maximum of five years.
new text end

new text begin (d) Before receiving loan repayment disbursements and as requested, the participant
must complete and return to the commissioner an affidavit of practice form provided by
the commissioner verifying that the participant is practicing as required under subdivision
2, paragraph (a). The participant must provide the commissioner with verification that the
full amount of loan repayment disbursement received by the participant has been applied
toward the designated loans. After each disbursement, verification must be received by
the commissioner and approved before the next loan repayment disbursement is made.
new text end

new text begin (e) Participants who move their practice remain eligible for loan repayment as long
as they practice as required under subdivision 2, paragraph (a).
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Penalty for nonfulfillment. new text end

new text begin If a participant does not fulfill the required
minimum commitment of service required under subdivision 3, paragraph (b), the
commissioner of agriculture must collect from the participant the total amount paid to
the participant under the loan forgiveness program plus interest at a rate established
according to section 270C.40. The commissioner must deposit the money collected in
the state general fund. The commissioner must allow waivers of all or part of the money
owed the commissioner as a result of a nonfulfillment penalty if emergency circumstances
prevented fulfillment of the service obligation.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Rules. new text end

new text begin The commissioner may adopt rules to implement this section.
new text end

Sec. 2. new text beginAPPROPRIATION.
new text end

new text begin $225,000 is appropriated from the general fund to the commissioner of agriculture
in fiscal year 2010 for the large animal loan forgiveness program. This appropriation is
available until expended.
new text end