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S02311 Summary:

Amd S605, add S672-c, Ed L
Creates a regents large animal veterinarian loan forgiveness program; establishes the number, criteria and notification requirements to receive an award under such program; establishes such awards shall be awarded annually to veterinarians who agree to practice in large animal veterinarian medicine.
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S02311 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2015-2016 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                    January 22, 2015
        Introduced  by  Sens. RITCHIE, SEWARD -- read twice and ordered printed,
          and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Higher Education
        AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation  to  creating  a  regents
          large animal veterinarian loan forgiveness program
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Section 605 of the education law is amended by adding a new
     2  subdivision 13 to read as follows:
     3    13.  Regents  large  animal  veterinarian  loan  forgiveness  program.
     4  Regents  veterinarian  loan forgiveness awards shall be awarded annually
     5  to large animal veterinarians who agree to practice veterinary  medicine
     6  in an area of New York state designated by the regents as having a shor-
     7  tage  of large animal veterinarians. Such awards shall be classified and
     8  allocated in accordance with regents rules.
     9    a. Eligibility. (1) The applicant must be a resident of New York state
    10  and licensed to practice veterinary medicine.
    11    (2) The applicant must have completed a professional residency program
    12  within the five years immediately preceding the  period  for  which  the
    13  first award would be granted, or be within two years of completion of an
    14  accredited residency program in large animal veterinary medicine.
    15    (3) The applicant must agree to practice large animal veterinary medi-
    16  cine  in  an  area  in New York state designated as having a shortage of
    17  large animal veterinarians. The regents,  after  consultation  with  the
    18  commissioners  of  agriculture  and  markets and health, shall designate
    19  those regions and facilities of New York state which have a shortage  of
    20  large  animal  veterinarians for the purposes of this section and estab-
    21  lish relative rankings thereof.
    22    b. Selection. The commissioner, in consultation with the commissioners
    23  of agriculture and markets and health, shall establish criteria for  the
    24  selection  of  participants in the program. An applicant must satisfy at
    25  least one of the criteria established. A priority shall be  accorded  to
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        S. 2311                             2
     1  any  applicant who is completing the second year of the service require-
     2  ment and is reapplying for a new award. The criteria shall  include  but
     3  not be limited to the following:
     4    (i)  reapplication  for  a new award by a person who is completing the
     5  second year of a service requirement;
     6    (ii) receipt of specific training in large animal veterinary medicine;
     7    (iii) receipt of specific training or experience in serving a shortage
     8  area;
     9    (iv) receipt of specific training or experience  matching  a  specific
    10  large animal medical need existing in a shortage area; and
    11    (v)  agreement pursuant to paragraph d of this subdivision to practice
    12  in an area determined by the regents to have a severe shortage of  large
    13  animal veterinary services.
    14    c.  Notification.  (1)  The  commissioner  shall then forward approved
    15  applications to the president and shall notify unsuccessful applicants.
    16    (2) The president shall verify the approved applicants':
    17    (i) eligibility; and
    18    (ii)  total  undergraduate  and  veterinary  medical  school   student
    19  expense;
    20    (3) The president shall notify applicants of their award entitlement.
    21    d.  Service requirement. Within such time as the commissioner shall by
    22  regulation provide, a recipient of an award shall have agreed  to  prac-
    23  tice  large  animal veterinary medicine in a specific area designated as
    24  having a shortage of large animal veterinarians for a period  of  twelve
    25  months  for  each  annual payment to be received by the recipient. Large
    26  animal veterinarians in training who receive an award shall not  receive
    27  credit  toward  their  required  service  for  time  spent in a training
    28  program. In no case shall the total number of months of service required
    29  be less than twenty-four. The president shall, in consultation with  the
    30  commissioner,  develop  and  secure from each award recipient, a written
    31  agreement to:
    32    (1) practice large animal veterinary medicine in the designated short-
    33  age area;
    34    (2) to provide thirty-five hours per week of direct animal care in the
    35  designated shortage area being served, or to the designated animal popu-
    36  lation being served. If a recipient fails  to  comply  fully  with  such
    37  conditions, the president shall be entitled to receive from such recipi-
    38  ent an amount to be determined by the formula:
    39    A = 2B (t-s)
    40        ___
    41         t
    42  in  which "A" is the amount the president is entitled to recover; "B" is
    43  the sum of all payments made to the recipient and the interest  on  such
    44  amount which would be payable if at the times such awards were paid they
    45  were  loans  bearing interest at the maximum prevailing rate; "t" is the
    46  total number of months in the recipient's period of obligated  services;
    47  and  "s"  is  the  number  of months of service actually rendered by the
    48  recipient. Any amount which the president is entitled to  recover  under
    49  this  paragraph  shall  be paid within the five-year period beginning on
    50  the date that the recipient failed to comply with  this  service  condi-
    51  tion. Nothing in the written agreement shall affect the terms of employ-
    52  ment  of the individual who shall negotiate, separate and apart from the
    53  program, his or her salary and other forms of employment with an agency,
    54  institution or a program in which he or she shall be employed. Any obli-
    55  gation to comply with such provisions as outlined in this section  shall
    56  be  cancelled  upon  the  death of the recipient. The commissioner shall

        S. 2311                             3
     1  make regulations to provide for the waiver or suspension of  any  finan-
     2  cial obligation which would involve extreme hardship.
     3    e. Reporting. A recipient of an award shall report annually to the New
     4  York  state  higher  education  services  corporation, the department of
     5  agriculture and markets and the department of health on forms prescribed
     6  by the president, as  to  the  performance  of  the  required  services,
     7  commencing with the calendar year in which the recipient begins to prac-
     8  tice  large animal veterinary medicine in a shortage area and continuing
     9  until the recipient shall have completed, or it is determined that he or
    10  she shall not be obligated to complete, the required  services.  If  the
    11  recipient shall fail to file any report required hereunder within thirty
    12  days  of written notice to the recipient, mailed to the address shown on
    13  the last application for an award or last  report  filed,  whichever  is
    14  later,  the  president of the corporation may impose a fine of up to one
    15  thousand dollars. The president shall have the discretion to  waive  the
    16  filing  of  a  report,  excuse  a delay in filing or a failure to file a
    17  report, or waive or reduce any fine imposed for good cause shown.
    18    f. Other awards. Award recipients shall be eligible to apply  for  one
    19  additional award.
    20    §  2.  The  education  law is amended by adding a new section 672-c to
    21  read as follows:
    22    § 672-c. Regents large animal veterinarian loan  forgiveness  program.
    23  1.    Number and certification. Eighty regents large animal veterinarian
    24  loan forgiveness awards shall be awarded each year. Such awards shall be
    25  allocated as provided in article thirteen  of  this  title  to  eligible
    26  large  animal veterinarians as certified to the president by the commis-
    27  sioner.
    28    2. Calculation of award amounts.  Each  award  shall  consist  of  two
    29  consecutive  annual  loan  forgiveness  payments.  Each  of  the  annual
    30  payments shall be for an amount equal to the  total of undergraduate and
    31  veterinary medical school student loan expense or ten thousand  dollars,
    32  whichever  is  less.  The president shall be responsible for calculating
    33  the dollar amount of each award that  eligible  candidates  may  receive
    34  from  this  program.  For  the  purposes  of  this section, student loan
    35  expense shall mean the cumulative total  of  the  annual  student  loans
    36  covering  the  cost of attendance at an undergraduate institution and/or
    37  veterinary medical school. Interest paid or due on student loans that an
    38  applicant has taken out for use in paying for such undergraduate  and/or
    39  veterinarian   medical   education  shall  be  considered  eligible  for
    40  reimbursement under this program.
    41    3. Award disbursement. a. Annual  award  disbursements  shall  be  the
    42  responsibility  of  the president and shall occur prior to the beginning
    43  of each of the required terms of service as  specified  in  the  service
    44  contract.  The board of trustees of the higher education services corpo-
    45  ration shall adopt rules and regulations regarding criteria  for  deter-
    46  mining  successful  completion  of  the  service contract and any appeal
    47  process that may be required to implement this paragraph upon  recommen-
    48  dation of the president in consultation with the commissioner.
    49    b. The disbursement of the second annual award shall be dependent upon
    50  successful  completion  of  the  first  year  requirement of the service
    51  contract as defined by the president as well as other criteria set forth
    52  in this section.
    53    § 3. This act shall take effect on the first of July  next  succeeding
    54  the date on which it shall have become a law.
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