Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2417
By: Hardcastle
Higher Education


In 1998, the legislature created the Physician Education Loan Repayment
Program (PELRP) to help address the growing shortage of physicians
practicing in rural and medically underserved areas by offering state funds
to help participating physicians repay education loans.  Despite PELRP's
success in recruiting and retaining physicians to practice in rural and
underserved areas, it is facing a possible funding shortfall because of
such factors as the overcommitment of funds and restrictions on how medical
schools may set aside money for PELRP.  House Bill 2417 requires that a
portion of the tuition of all medical school students be set aside for
student loan repayment assistance for certain physicians and provides for
the preparation of an annual report on PELRP. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


House Bill 2417 amends the Education Code to require the governing boards
of each medical unit of an institution of higher education to set aside two
percent of tuition charges for each student, rather than each resident
student, registered in a medical branch, school, or college to be used for
the repayment of student loans of physicians serving in certain state
agencies or medically underserved areas.  The bill requires the comptroller
of public accounts (comptroller), as soon as practicable after each state
fiscal year, to prepare a report for that fiscal year of the number of
students registered in a medical branch, school, or college, the total
amount of tuition charges collected by each institution and transferred to
the treasury under this provision, and the total amount available for the
repayment of student loans of physicians.  The bill requires the
comptroller to deliver a copy of the report to the governor, lieutenant
governor, and speaker of the house of representatives not later than
January 1 following the end of the fiscal year covered by the report. 


On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act
takes effect September 1, 2001. The Act applies beginning with tuition fees
charged for the 2001-2002 academic year.