Bill Text: TX SB16 | 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 20-11)

Status: (Enrolled) 2019-05-25 - Sent to the Governor [SB16 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-SB16-Comm_Sub.html
 
 
  By: Hancock, Bettencourt  S.B. No. 16
         (In the Senate - Filed March 8, 2019; March 11, 2019, read
  first time and referred to Committee on Higher Education;
  April 8, 2019, reported adversely, with favorable Committee
  Substitute by the following vote:  Yeas 9, Nays 0; April 8, 2019,
  sent to printer.)
Click here to see the committee vote
 
  COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR S.B. No. 16 By:  Buckingham
 
 
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 peace officers who agree to continued employment as
  full-time peace officers in this state for a specified period.
         Sec. 61.9953.  INITIAL ELIGIBILITY; AGREEMENT REQUIREMENTS.
  (a)  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
  four consecutive years and the person's current employment as a
  peace officer in this state as of the date of the application; and
                     (B)  a transcript of the person's postsecondary
  course work;
               (2)  have completed an undergraduate or graduate
  program at a general academic teaching institution or a private or
  independent institution of higher education;
               (3)  be currently employed, and have completed at least
  four consecutive years of employment, as a full-time peace officer
  in this state;
               (4)  enter into an agreement with the board under
  Subsection (b); and
               (5)  comply with any other requirement adopted by the
  board under this subchapter.
         (b)  To receive loan repayment assistance under this
  subchapter, a person must enter into an agreement with the board:
               (1)  under which the person:
                     (A)  agrees to complete four additional
  consecutive years of employment as a full-time peace officer in
  this state in exchange for an amount of loan repayment assistance in
  each of those years as provided by Section 61.9956; and
                     (B)  acknowledges the conditional nature of the
  loan repayment assistance; and
               (2)  that states 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.
         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 four years.
         Sec. 61.9955.  EXCEPTION TO CONSECUTIVE YEARS OF FULL-TIME
  EMPLOYMENT REQUIREMENT. The board shall excuse an otherwise
  eligible person from a requirement imposed by Section 61.9953 or
  61.9954 that the employment qualifying the person for loan
  repayment assistance be performed in consecutive years if the break
  in employment is a result of the person's:
               (1)  service on active duty as a member of the armed
  forces of the United States, including as a member of a reserve or
  National Guard unit called for active duty;
               (2)  temporary total disability for a period of not
  more than 36 months, as established by the affidavit of a qualified
  physician;
               (3)  inability to secure employment as required by
  Section 61.9953 or 61.9954 for a period not to exceed 12 months
  because of care required for a disabled spouse or child;
               (4)  inability, despite reasonable efforts, to secure
  for a single period not to exceed 12 months employment as required
  by Section 61.9953 or 61.9954; or
               (5)  satisfaction of the provisions of any other
  exception adopted by the board for purposes of this section.
         Sec. 61.9956.  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 the following amounts, subject to the amount of
  available funding:
               (1)  the lesser of $3,000 or 10 percent of the amount
  described in Section 61.9953(b)(2) for the first year of
  eligibility;
               (2)  the lesser of $6,000 or 20 percent of the amount
  described in Section 61.9953(b)(2) for the second year of
  eligibility;
               (3)  the lesser of $9,000 or 30 percent of the amount
  described in Section 61.9953(b)(2) for the third year of
  eligibility; and
               (4)  the lesser of $12,000 or 40 percent of the amount
  described in Section 61.9953(b)(2) for the fourth year of
  eligibility.
         (b)  The total amount of repayment assistance provided under
  this subchapter to an eligible person may not exceed $30,000.
         (c)  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.
         (d)  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. 61.9957.  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 an institution of higher
  education or a private or independent institution of higher
  education.
         (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
  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. 61.9958.  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. 61.9959.  PEACE OFFICER LOAN REPAYMENT ASSISTANCE
  PROGRAM INVESTMENT FUND. (a)  In this section, "fund" means the
  peace officer loan repayment assistance program investment fund.
         (b)  The fund is a dedicated account in the general revenue
  fund and consists of:
               (1)  gifts, grants, and other donations received from
  any public or private source for the fund; and
               (2)  interest and other earnings from the investment of
  the fund.
         (c)  The fund may be used only to provide loan repayment
  assistance for the repayment of loans eligible under Section
  61.9957, including any related administrative costs.
         (d)  The fund is exempt from the application of Sections
  403.095 and 404.071, Government Code.
         (e)  The board may accept grants, gifts, and other donations
  from any public or private source for the purposes of this
  subchapter.  All money received under this subchapter shall be
  deposited in the fund.
         Sec. 61.9960.  RULES. The board shall adopt rules necessary
  for the administration of this subchapter, including rules
  providing for:
               (1)  the manner in which a person may apply for loan
  repayment assistance; and
               (2)  a method of awarding loan repayment assistance
  under this subchapter that gives first priority to applicants who
  are renewing their applications for loan repayment assistance
  provided 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.
 
  * * * * *
feedback