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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 2587

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 03/20/2019 03:10pm

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; creating a rural attorney loan repayment program;
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] RURAL ATTORNEY LOAN REPAYMENT 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) "Attorney" means an individual who has been awarded a Juris Doctor degree from
any ABA-accredited law school in the United States and who has been admitted to practice
before the courts of the state of Minnesota.
new text end

new text begin (c) "Designated rural location" means any county in Minnesota having a population of
less than 30,000.
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,
including refinanced or consolidated loans for the actual costs paid for tuition, reasonable
education expenses, and reasonable living expenses related to the education of an attorney.
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 shall establish and
administer a loan repayment program for attorneys who apply to the program and agree to:
new text end

new text begin (1) practice law in a designated rural location for at least five years; and
new text end

new text begin (2) devote at least 50 percent of the attorney's time to representing individual residents
of the designated rural location who have an income below 400 percent of the federal poverty
guidelines.
new text end

new text begin (b) A rural attorney loan repayment account is established in the special revenue fund.
Money in the account is appropriated to the commissioner to establish and administer the
program under this section. Appropriations for the program are for transfers to the account.
Appropriations from the account 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 repayment program an
individual must:
new text end

new text begin (1) be an attorney who is admitted to practice before the courts of the state of Minnesota;
new text end

new text begin (2) have obtained qualified educational loans; and
new text end

new text begin (3) submit an application to the commissioner in the form and manner prescribed by the
commissioner.
new text end

new text begin (b) An applicant selected to participate in the program 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 repayment. new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner may select a maximum of ten applicants
each year to participate in the loan repayment program, within the limits of available funding.
new text end

new text begin (b) The commissioner must select participants based on their suitability for practice
serving the designated rural location, as indicated by experience and training. To encourage
the selection of a diverse set of attorneys to receive funding from the rural loan repayment
fund, the commissioner may consider applicants based on gender, gender identification,
race, color, religion, and other related criteria.
new text end

new text begin (c) The commissioner may consider the Minnesota State Bar Association's
recommendations of applicants for participation in the loan repayment program.
new text end

new text begin (d) 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 (e) Before receiving loan repayment disbursements and as requested, the participant
must complete and return to the commissioner a confirmation 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 qualified educational 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 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 must collect from the participant the total amount paid to the participant
under the loan repayment program plus interest at a rate established according to section
270C.40. The commissioner must deposit the money collected in the rural attorney loan
repayment account in the special revenue 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 prevent fulfillment of the service obligation.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Office policies. new text end

new text begin Policies necessary to implement this section are not rulemaking
under chapter 14, including section 14.386.
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 deposit into the rural attorney
loan repayment account in the special revenue fund under Minnesota Statutes, section
136A.1788, subdivision 2.
new text end