Texas veterinary loan repayment laws

July 2009

CHAPTER 487A. ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS ADMINISTERED BY OFFICE OF RURAL COMMUNITY AFFAIRS

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 487A.001. DEFINITIONS. The definitions in Chapter 487 apply to this chapter.
[Sections 487A.002-487A.050 reserved for expansion]

SUBCHAPTER B. RURAL VETERINARIAN LOAN REPAYMENT PROGRAM

Sec. 487A.051. DEFINITION. In this subchapter, "designated rural area" means a rural geographic area in this state that the board by rule designates as rural for purposes of the loan repayment program under this subchapter.

Sec. 487A.052. LOAN REPAYMENT PROGRAM.
(a) In accordance with this subchapter and rules adopted by the board, the office shall establish and administer a program to provide loan repayment assistance to veterinarians who agree to practice veterinary medicine on livestock or deer in a designated rural area.
(b) The board may provide repayment assistance to a veterinarian for up to four years. The board shall determine the amount of repayment assistance to provide each year.

Sec. 487A.053. ELIGIBILITY. To be eligible to receive loan repayment assistance under this subchapter, a veterinarian must:
(1) apply to the office;
(2) be licensed to practice veterinary medicine in this state; and
(3) enter into an agreement with the office as provided by Section 487A.055.

Sec. 487A.054. ELIGIBLE LOANS.
(a) The office may provide repayment assistance for the repayment of any education loan received by the veterinarian through any lender for education at any veterinary school that awards a degree that satisfies the veterinary study requirements to obtain a license to practice veterinary medicine in this state.
(b) The office may not provide repayment assistance for an education loan that is in default at the time of the veterinarian's application.

Sec. 487A.055. AGREEMENT REQUIREMENTS.
(a) To qualify for loan repayment assistance under this subchapter, a person must enter into a written agreement with the office as provided by this section. The agreement must:
(1) specify the conditions the person must satisfy to receive repayment assistance;
(2) require the person to practice veterinary medicine on livestock or deer for one full year in a designated rural area for each year the person receives loan repayment assistance under this subchapter;
(3) provide that any repayment assistance the person receives under this subchapter constitutes a loan until the person completes the year of practice and satisfies other applicable conditions of the agreement; and
(4) require the person to sign a promissory note acknowledging the conditional nature of the repayment assistance received and promising to repay the amount of that assistance plus applicable interest and reasonable collection costs if the person does not satisfy the applicable conditions.
(b) The office shall determine the terms of the promissory note required by Subsection (a)(4). To the extent practicable, the terms must be the same as those applicable to state or federally guaranteed student loans made at the same time.
(c) Amounts recovered under a promissory note required by Subsection (a)(4) shall be deposited in the permanent endowment fund for the rural communities health care investment program under Section 487.558.

Sec. 487A.056. REPAYMENT.
(a) The office shall deliver any repayment assistance made under this subchapter in a lump sum payable to the lender and the veterinarian and in accordance with any applicable federal law.
(b) Loan repayment assistance received under this subchapter may be applied to the principal amount of the loan and to interest that accrues.

Sec. 487A.057. GRANTS, GIFTS, AND DONATIONS.
(a) In addition to funds appropriated by the legislature, the office may solicit and accept grants, gifts, and donations from any public or private source for the purposes of this subchapter.
(b) Gifts and grants received under this section shall be deposited in the permanent endowment fund for the rural communities health care investment program under Section 487.558.

Sec. 487A.058. RULES.
(a) The board shall adopt rules necessary to administer this subchapter.
(b) The office shall distribute to each veterinary school in this state a copy of the rules adopted under this section.

SECTION 1.05. The board of the Office of Rural Community Affairs shall adopt rules for the rural veterinarian loan repayment program under Subchapter B, Chapter 487A, Government Code, as added by this article, not later than December 31, 2009.

ARTICLE 2. DETERMINATION BY COMPTROLLER
SECTION 2.01.
(a) This Act does not make an appropriation.
(b) Not later than August 31, 2009, the comptroller of public accounts shall make and publish in the Texas Register a determination whether a specific appropriation in an amount not less than $2,790,000 for the implementation of this Act is provided in a general appropriations act of the 81st Legislature, Regular Session.

ARTICLE 3. EFFECTIVE DATES
SECTION 3.01. Article 1 of this Act takes effect September 1, 2009, but only if the comptroller of public accounts has published a determination that a specific appropriation has been made as provided by Section 2.01 of this Act. If the comptroller of public accounts determines that a specific appropriation has not been made as provided by Section 2.01 of this Act, or if the comptroller has not published a determination as provided by Section 2.01, Article 1 of this Act has no effect.
SECTION 3.02. Except as otherwise provided by this article, this Act takes effect on the 91st day after the last day of the legislative session.


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