Illinois veterinary loan repayment laws

HB 364

Signed into law on 08/07/09

Public Act 096-0142

AN ACT concerning education.

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly:

Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Veterinary Student Loan Repayment Program Act.

Section 15. Definitions. In this Act:

"College" means the College of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Illinois.
"Program" means the Veterinary Student Loan Repayment Program established under this Act.
"University" means the University of Illinois.

Section 20. Veterinary Student Loan Repayment Program.

(a) There is hereby created a veterinary training program for large animal and public health veterinary medicine, which shall be known as the Veterinary Student Loan Repayment Program and administered through the University of Illinois.

(b) The purpose of the Program is to provide encouragement, opportunities, and incentives for persons pursuing a veterinary medicine degree program at the University of Illinois to engage, upon completion of such education program, in (i) veterinary practice that is at least 51% devoted to large animal medicine that enhances agricultural animal health and productivity or (ii) regulatory veterinary medicine that supports public health and safety, livestock biosecurity, or food animal disease diagnosis.

(c) Subject to appropriation and upon recommendation of the College, the University may enter into a program agreement with up to 4 veterinary students during the first year of operation of the Program; up to 8 veterinary students during the second year of operation of the Program; up to 12 veterinary students during the third year of operation of the Program; and up to 16 veterinary students during the fourth year of operation of the Program and every year thereafter until the expiration of the Program, as set forth in Section 40 of this Act. Preference must be given to those students who are Illinois residents. Each student entering into a program agreement shall receive a loan in the amount of $20,000 per year to cover tuition, books, supplies and other school expenses and travel and training expenses incurred by the student in pursuing a veterinary medicine degree. A student may be the recipient of a loan under the Program for no more than 4 years.

(d) Upon the satisfaction of all commitments made under the Program and all provisions of the program agreement, all loans disbursed to a student under the Program shall be deemed satisfied and forgiven.

Section 25. Program agreement.

(a) Prior to receiving a loan under the Program, each loan recipient must sign an agreement pledging that he or she shall:

(1) complete the veterinary medicine degree program at the College;
(2) complete all advanced training in public health, livestock biosecurity, foreign animal disease diagnosis, regulatory veterinary medicine and zoonotic disease and complete an externship and mentorship with a licensed, accredited veterinarian in Illinois who practices in one of the areas of veterinary service need identified in this Act and as required by the University;
(3) engage in the full-time practice of veterinary medicine in any of the identified areas of veterinary service need identified in this Act;
(4) practice full-time for a period of at least 12 continuous months for each separate year that he or she received a loan under the Program, unless such obligation is otherwise satisfied as provided in this Act; and
(5) commence the full-time practice required under this Section within 180 days after completion of his or her degree program or, if he or she enters a post-degree training program such as a graduate school or internship or residency program, within 90 days after completion of that post-degree training program.

(b) The fulfillment of obligations set forth in the program agreement may be postponed under any of the following circumstances:

(1) Any period of temporary medical disability during which the loan recipient is unable to practice veterinary medicine due to such disability.
(2) Any period of time in which the loan recipient is engaged in mandatory military service as part of the U.S. Armed Forces.
(3) Any other period of postponement agreed to or determined in accordance with criteria agreed to in the program agreement.

(c) The obligations of a program agreement shall be discharged prematurely upon the death of the loan recipient or in the event that the loan recipient is unable to practice veterinary medicine due to permanent disability.

Section 30. Failure to satisfy program agreement. Upon the failure of a loan recipient to satisfy the obligations set forth in the program agreement, he or she must repay to the University the amount equal to the amount loaned to the recipient less a prorated amount based on any periods of practice of veterinary medicine meeting the requirements of the program agreement, plus interest at a rate of 18% interest per year beginning on the date of the failure to satisfy the program requirement. Such interest shall be compounded annually.

Section 35. Collected payments. Payments received by the University in accordance with this Act shall be deposited with the University for the purpose of supporting the Program, which shall include providing funding for additional loans as provided for under this Act, and administrative costs associated with administering the Program.

Section 40. Expiration of Program. The University may not enter into any program agreement under the Program or the provisions of this Act after July 1, 2019. All program agreements entered into prior to July 1, 2019 shall continue in full force and effect, subject to the requirements of this Act.

Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon becoming law.

Effective Date: 8/7/2009


Source: AVMA Staff Research, State Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Dept.
Contact: Tara Southwell, State Policy Analyst, AVMA State Legislative and Regulatory Department, 847-285-6779