Bill Text: TX HB14 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Comm Sub

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Relating to a student loan repayment assistance program for certain full-time peace officers in this state.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Republican 19-9)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-04-25 - Referred to Higher Education [HB14 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-HB14-Comm_Sub.html
  86R23885 SOS-F
 
  By: Stucky, Thompson of Harris, H.B. No. 14
      King of Parker, Meyer, Minjarez, et al.
 
  Substitute the following for H.B. No. 14:
 
  By:  Stucky C.S.H.B. No. 14
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to a student loan repayment assistance program for certain
  full-time peace officers in this state.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 61, Education Code, is amended by adding
  Subchapter NN to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER NN. PEACE OFFICER LOAN REPAYMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
         Sec. 61.9951.  DEFINITION. In this subchapter, "peace
  officer" has the meaning assigned by Article 2.12, Code of Criminal
  Procedure.
         Sec. 61.9952.  LOAN REPAYMENT ASSISTANCE AUTHORIZED;
  PURPOSE. The board shall establish and administer a program to
  provide, in accordance with this subchapter and board rules, loan
  repayment assistance in the repayment of eligible loans for
  eligible persons who agree to continued employment as full-time
  peace officers in this state for a specified period.
         Sec. 61.9953.  INITIAL ELIGIBILITY. To be eligible to
  receive loan repayment assistance under this subchapter for the
  first year for which the person seeks loan repayment assistance, a
  person must:
               (1)  submit to the board an initial application for the
  loan repayment assistance, in the manner and on a form prescribed by
  board rule, that requires:
                     (A)  employer verification of the person's
  employment as a full-time peace officer in this state for at least
  one year and the person's current employment as a peace officer in
  this state as of the date of the application;
                     (B)  a transcript of the person's postsecondary
  course work; and
                     (C)  a statement of the total amount of principal,
  accrued interest, fees, and other charges due on all outstanding
  eligible loans for which the person is applying for repayment
  assistance;
               (2)  be a resident of this state as determined by board
  rule;
               (3)  have earned at least 60 semester credit hours or
  the equivalent at an institution of higher education or a private or
  independent institution of higher education before the person's
  initial employment as a peace officer;
               (4)  be currently employed, and have completed at least
  one year of employment, as a full-time peace officer in this state;
               (5)  not be in default on any other educational loan;
  and
               (6)  comply with any other requirement adopted by the
  board under this subchapter.
         Sec. 61.9954.  CONTINUING ELIGIBILITY. (a) Except as
  provided by Subsection (b), after initially qualifying for loan
  repayment assistance under Section 61.9953, a person may continue
  to receive loan repayment assistance in a subsequent year only if
  the person annually submits an application, in the manner and on a
  form prescribed by board rule, that requires employer verification
  of the person's continuous employment as a full-time peace officer
  in this state for the year ending immediately before the date the
  application is submitted under this section.
         (b)  A person may not receive loan repayment assistance under
  this subchapter for more than five years.
         Sec. 61.9955.  AWARD. (a) Except as provided by this
  section, an eligible person is entitled to receive an annual amount
  of loan repayment assistance payments under this subchapter payable
  to the holders of the eligible person's eligible loans for each year
  of eligibility approved by the board under Section 61.9953 or
  61.9954 in an amount equal to the lesser of $4,000 or 20 percent of
  the total amount stated in the person's application under Section
  61.9953, subject to the amount of available funding.
         (b)  If at the time an eligible person submits an initial
  application under Section 61.9953 the payoff period for the
  person's total outstanding balance of eligible loans is less than
  five years, the board shall make payments under this subchapter to
  the eligible holders of the person's eligible loans in the amounts
  of the payments and accrued interest as those payments become due.
         (c)  The total amount of repayment assistance provided under
  this subchapter to an eligible person may not exceed $20,000.
         (d)  If in any year the amount of money available for loan
  repayment assistance under this subchapter is insufficient to
  provide loan repayment assistance to cover all the payments for the
  year for all eligible loans of all eligible persons, the board shall
  establish criteria to determine the amount of available money to
  allocate to the holders of student loans of eligible persons as the
  board determines appropriate to further the purpose of this
  subchapter.
         (e)  An eligible person whose annual loan repayment
  assistance under this section is less than the amount necessary to
  cover the amount of principal and interest due on the person's
  eligible loans for that year is responsible for the payment of the
  remainder of the amount due and for otherwise preventing a default
  on the loan.
         Sec. 61.9956.  ELIGIBLE LOANS. (a) The board may provide
  loan repayment assistance under this subchapter for the repayment
  of any student loan received by an eligible person through any
  lender for the cost of attendance at a public or private nonprofit
  postsecondary educational institution for a semester or other term
  that ended in the five years immediately preceding the person's
  initial employment as a peace officer.
         (b)  If the loan is not a state or federal guaranteed student
  loan, the promissory note or other loan agreement document
  governing the terms of the loan must require all the loan proceeds
  to be used for expenses incurred by a person in attending a public
  or private nonprofit postsecondary educational institution.
         (c)  The board may not provide loan repayment assistance
  under this subchapter for an eligible loan that is in default on the
  date the person's application for loan repayment assistance is
  submitted under Section 61.9953 or 61.9954.
         Sec. 61.9957.  PAYMENT OF LOAN REPAYMENT ASSISTANCE. (a)
  The board shall pay any loan repayment assistance under this
  subchapter in a lump sum delivered on the eligible person's behalf
  directly to the holder of the loan.
         (b)  Loan repayment assistance provided under this
  subchapter may be applied to any amount due on the loan.
         (c)  Each state fiscal biennium, the board shall attempt to
  allocate all money available to the board for the purpose of
  providing loan repayment assistance under this subchapter.
         Sec. 61.9958.  GIFTS, GRANTS, AND DONATIONS.  The board may
  solicit and accept gifts, grants, and other donations from any
  public or private source for the purposes of this subchapter.
         Sec. 61.9959.  RULES; POSTING REQUIRED.  (a) The board shall
  adopt rules necessary for the administration of this subchapter.
         (b)  The board shall post on the board's Internet website a
  copy of the rules adopted under this subchapter and information
  regarding the program established under this subchapter.
         SECTION 2.  The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
  shall adopt rules for the peace officer loan repayment assistance
  program under Subchapter NN, Chapter 61, Education Code, as added
  by this Act, not later than December 1, 2019.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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