Issue Summaries for the 112th Congress
(View issue summaries for the current Congress.)
Equity in Federal Veterinary Pay
There is an increasing need for highly trained veterinarians in federal employment. Veterinarians in Federal service are on the front lines of the nation's homeland security efforts. At the present time, Federal agencies lack sufficient incentives to recruit and retain the best and brightest veterinarians. The government needs to keep and attract new veterinarians. To do so, it must improve compensation packages for federally employed veterinarians. More than 25 percent of Federal veterinarians will qualify for retirement in the next five years The Office of Personnel Management can level the playing field for federal agencies employing veterinarians by establishing specialty pay rates on par with other medical personnel, providing professional development opportunities including leadership training and continuing education, and board.
AVMA Position: Active Pursuit of Passage
Primary Contact: Dr. Ashley Shelton Morgan
Federal Loan Repayment Program for Veterinarians
Increase effectiveness of the Federal student loan repayment program, 5 U.S.C. § 5379. Federal agencies, at their discretion, may use the program to recruit and retain candidates and current employees; however, the annual and aggregate loan repayment limits are not competitive to attract adequate numbers of veterinarians to federal service. Congress is urged to increase from $10,000 to $25,000 the annual loan repayment and from $60,000 to $120,000 the aggregate loan repayment. Additionally, this program needs to be made tax exempt. There is no doubt that all federal agencies using the program would benefit from these improvements.
Status: GRD works with the National Association of Federal Veterinarians (NAFV) to solicit support on Capitol Hill.
AVMA Position: Support
Primary Contact: Gina Luke