Bill Text: TX SB16 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Enrolled


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: (Passed) 2019-06-10 - Effective on 9/1/19 [SB16 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-SB16-Enrolled.html
 
 
  S.B. No. 16
 
 
 
 
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)  be initially employed as a peace officer on or
  after September 1, 2019;
               (2)  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;
               (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;
  and
               (5)  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 annual payments under this
  subchapter to the holders of the person's eligible loans in the
  amounts of the payments and accrued interest due for the applicable
  year.
         (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 an institution of higher
  education or a private or independent institution of higher
  education 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 an
  institution of higher education or a private or independent
  institution of higher education.
         (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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 16 passed the Senate on
  April 16, 2019, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0; and that
  the Senate concurred in House amendment on May 24, 2019, by the
  following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 16 passed the House, with
  amendment, on May 17, 2019, by the following vote: Yeas 132,
  Nays 9, two present not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
              Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor
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