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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 306

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 05/23/2019 10:10am

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; providing for a student loan debt counseling grant;
requiring a report; appropriating money; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota
Statutes, chapter 136A.

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

Section 1.

new text begin [136A.1788] STUDENT LOAN DEBT COUNSELING.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Grant. new text end

new text begin A program is established under the Office of Higher Education
to provide a grant to a Minnesota-based nonprofit qualified debt counseling organization
to provide individual student loan debt repayment counseling to borrowers who are Minnesota
residents concerning loans obtained to attend a Minnesota postsecondary institution. The
number of individuals receiving counseling may be limited to those capable of being served
with available appropriations for that purpose. A goal of the counseling program is to provide
two counseling sessions to at least 75 percent of borrowers receiving counseling.
new text end

new text begin The purpose of the counseling is to assist borrowers to:
new text end

new text begin (1) understand their loan and repayment options;
new text end

new text begin (2) manage loan repayment; and
new text end

new text begin (3) develop a workable budget based on the borrower's full financial situation regarding
income, expenses, and other debt.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Qualified debt counseling organization. new text end

new text begin A qualified debt counseling
organization is an organization that:
new text end

new text begin (1) has experience in providing individualized student loan counseling;
new text end

new text begin (2) employs certified financial loan counselors; and
new text end

new text begin (3) is based in Minnesota and has offices at multiple rural and metropolitan area locations
in the state to provide in-person counseling.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Grant application and award. new text end

new text begin (a) Applications for a grant shall be on a form
created by the commissioner and on a schedule set by the commissioner. Among other
provisions, the application must include a description of:
new text end

new text begin (1) the characteristics of borrowers to be served;
new text end

new text begin (2) the services to be provided and a timeline for implementation of the services;
new text end

new text begin (3) how the services provided will help borrowers manage loan repayment;
new text end

new text begin (4) specific program outcome goals and performance measures for each goal; and
new text end

new text begin (5) how the services will be evaluated to determine whether the program goals were
met.
new text end

new text begin (b) The commissioner shall select one grant recipient for a two-year award every two
years. A grant may be renewed biennially.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Program evaluation. new text end

new text begin (a) The grant recipient must submit a report to the
commissioner by January 15 of the second year of the grant award. The report must evaluate
and measure the extent to which program outcome goals have been met.
new text end

new text begin (b) The grant recipient must collect, analyze, and report on participation and outcome
data that enable the office to verify the outcomes.
new text end

new text begin (c) The evaluation must include information on the number of borrowers served with
on-time student loan payments, the numbers who brought their loans into good standing,
the number of student loan defaults, the number who developed a monthly budget plan, and
other information required by the commissioner. Recipients of the counseling must be
surveyed on their opinions about the usefulness of the counseling and the survey results
must be included in the report.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Report to legislature. new text end

new text begin By February 1 of the second year of each grant award,
the commissioner must submit a report to the committees in the legislature with jurisdiction
over higher education finance regarding grant program outcomes.
new text end

Sec. 2. new text beginAPPROPRIATION.
new text end

new text begin $....... in fiscal year 2020 and $....... in fiscal year 2021 are appropriated from the general
fund to the commissioner of the Office of Higher Education for student loan debt counseling
under Minnesota Statutes, section 136A.1788.
new text end