HBA-KMH H.B. 2042 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2042 By: Turner, Bob Higher Education 3/8/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, the Center for Rural Health Initiatives implements a program which provides physicians with student loan forgiveness or financial support for practicing medicine in rural areas. The mission of this program is to provide rural areas with assistance where there is a shortage of primary care physicians. H.B. 2042 creates the Rural Veterinarian Incentive Program which is a similar program to the physicians program of the Center for Rural Health Initiatives. The program offers a venue for providing financial support to students enrolled in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University or to those who have applied to participate in the program, under certain conditions. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill expressly delegates rulemaking authority to the Rural Veterinarian Incentive Program advisory committee in SECTION 1 (Sections 89.002 and 89.006, Education Code), of this bill. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Subtitle B, Title 3, Education Code, by adding Chapter 89, as follows: CHAPTER 89. RURAL VETERINARIAN INCENTIVE PROGRAM Sec. 89.001. DEFINITIONS. Defines "committee," "fund," "college," "program," "rural county," "commission," and "board." Sec. 89.002. RURAL VETERINARIAN ASSISTANCE PROGRAM ADVISORY COMMITTEE. Sets forth the required composition of the committee. Requires the dean of the college to serve as the chair of the advisory committee. Requires the committee to promulgate specified rules. Sec. 89.003. ELIGIBLE STUDENTS. Provides that a student is eligible to participate in the program if the student is enrolled with the college or applied to participate in the program within one year of the date of graduation from the college and will receive, or has received, at least 50 percent of the funds for tuition and fees from a student loan. Authorizes the committee to establish a minimum grade point average. Sec. 89.004. RURAL SPONSORS. Authorizes a rural community or political subdivision, in accordance with Section 89.002(b)(3), to provide financial support to a student described in Section 89.003(a). Requires a sponsor to enter into an agreement with the student under Subsection (c). Requires an agreement of financial support to fund at least one full year of tuition and fees for an eligible student enrolled in the college. Authorizes financial support under this section to be satisfied in whole or in part by a grant, scholarship, or private foundation. Requires financial support under this section also to be deposited in the fund for distribution to the student by the university. Sec. 89.005. FINANCIAL SUPPORT. Requires a student participating in the program to enter into an agreement with the university to practice veterinary medicine in a rural county for a period of time equal to each year of financial support received by the student. Requires financial support received by a student under this chapter to be used to retire student loan debt or pay tuition and fees to the university. Requires financial support from the fund to be awarded in the form of grants. Sec. 89.006. RURAL VETERINARIAN ASSISTANCE FUND. Provides that the Rural Veterinarian Assistance Fund is a fund in the state treasury and consists of revenue deposited to the credit of the fund by the university, including legislative appropriations. Requires the fund to be administered by the university in accordance with the rules promulgated by the committee. Sec. 89.006. ADMINISTRATION OF THE PROGRAM. Requires the university to administer the program according to the rules promulgated by the committee. SECTION 2. Emergency clause. Effective date: 90 days after adjournment.