AB34 Summary:

Add 679-h, Ed L
Establishes the NYS Employee Loan Forgiveness Program; provides that individuals employed by a state employer for 5 years or more with outstanding loan debt are eligible to receive $5,000 per year.
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AB34 Actions:

01/07/2015referred to higher education
01/06/2016referred to higher education
02/24/2016amend and recommit to higher education
02/24/2016print number 34a
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AB34 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Simanowitz
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to establishing the New York state employee loan forgiveness program   PURPOSE: To establish the New York State Employee Loan Forgiveness program to retain individuals serving as employees of a state employer.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Amendment of the education law by adding a new section 679-e. Section 679-e shall allow the commissioner of education to grant loan forgive- ness awards to state employees who have a minimum of five (5) years of qualified service and have outstanding student loan debt. A number of elected officials, judges, and those appointed to boards or commissions by the governor are not eligible. The awards may be granted in amounts ranging from $5,000 not to exceed $10,000. Awards will be based on availability of funds.   JUSTIFICATION: Admittedly, the cost of higher education has skyrocketed in. recent years. It has become so expensive to pay for one's higher education, that the decisions regarding career are being determined based on economics. Consequently, the public sector job market, specifically the state government has suffered as a result of the economic competition in the job marketplace. Without being able to match the salaries of the newly graduated in the private sector, the state government suffers by having to forego many talented individuals. This bill is a means of investing in the individuals who are willing to invest in the state for a job. The return is not immediate, but the investment will be.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-10: A.7243/S.1225 Referred to Higher Education both houses. 2011-12: A.1818 Referred to Higher Education. 2013-2014: Referred to Higher Education.   EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
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AB34 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2015-2016 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     January 7, 2015
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  SIMANOWITZ  -- read once and referred to the
          Committee on Higher Education -- recommitted to the Committee on High-
          er Education in accordance with Assembly Rule 3, sec. 2  --  committee
          discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
          to said committee
        AN  ACT  to amend the education law, in relation to establishing the New
          York state employee loan forgiveness program
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1. The education law is amended by adding a new section 679-h
     2  to read as follows:
     3    §  679-h.  New  York  state  employee  loan  forgiveness  program.  1.
     4  Purpose.  The  commissioner  shall grant student loan forgiveness awards
     5  for the purpose of retaining individuals serving as employees of a state
     6  employer.
     7    2. Definitions. (a) "State employer" means: (1) the  executive  branch
     8  of  the  state, (2) a cooperative extension association ("association"),
     9  (3) the unified court system, (4) the senate, (5) the assembly, and  (6)
    10  joint legislative employers.
    11    (b)  "Student  loan  debt"  means  the  total  annual  loan repayments
    12  required to be made by the eligible employee on the cumulative total  of
    13  the employee's outstanding student loans covering the cost of attendance
    14  at an undergraduate institution and/or graduate school. Interest paid or
    15  due  on  such loans shall be considered eligible for reimbursement under
    16  this program. For purposes  of  this  calculation,  the  amount  of  the
    17  student  loan  expense shall be reduced by any grants, loan forgiveness,
    18  or similar reductions to the employee's indebtedness that he or she  has
    19  received or shall receive.

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 34--A                            2
     1    (c) "Year of qualified service" means the twelve-month period measured
     2  from  the  anniversary  of  the  individual's  employment with the state
     3  employer and adjusted for any interruption in employment.
     4    3.  Eligibility.  (a)  To  be  eligible  for an award pursuant to this
     5  subdivision, applicants shall: (1) be employed by a state employer;  (2)
     6  for five or more years of qualified service; and (3) have an outstanding
     7  student loan debt.
     8    (b)  Individuals  employed  by  a  state employer who are not eligible
     9  include:
    10    (1) elected officials, judges or justices appointed to or  serving  in
    11  court of record;
    12    (2)  officers  described  in  sections  four,  forty-one-a, forty-six,
    13  sixty-one, seventy, seventy-a, one hundred sixty-nine  (including  those
    14  officers  whose  salary  is  established  pursuant to salary plans under
    15  subdivision three  of  section  one  hundred  sixty-nine),  section  one
    16  hundred eighty and subdivision one of section forty-one of the executive
    17  law  and  any agency or department head appointed by the governor, comp-
    18  troller or attorney general; and
    19    (3) appointed members of boards or commissions any  of  whose  members
    20  are appointed by the governor or by another state officer or body.
    21    4.  Awards.  The commissioner shall grant awards in the amount of five
    22  thousand dollars to individuals who are eligible, pursuant  to  subdivi-
    23  sion  two  of  this  section,  in  the  year  prior to such application,
    24  provided that no recipient shall receive an award that exceeds the total
    25  remaining balance of the student loan debt and that no  recipient  shall
    26  receive  cumulative  awards,  pursuant to this section, in excess of ten
    27  thousand dollars. Awards shall be within the  amounts  appropriated  for
    28  such purpose and based on availability of funds.
    29    5. Rules and regulations. The commissioner is authorized to promulgate
    30  rules and regulations necessary for the implementation of the provisions
    31  of this section.
    32    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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