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AB-589 Medical education: underrepresented medical specialties.(2013-2014)

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AB589:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  January 06, 2014

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 589


Introduced by Assembly Member Fox

February 20, 2013


An act to add and repeal Article 21.7 (commencing with Section 70015) of Chapter 2 of Part 42 of Division 5 of Title 3 of the Education Code, relating to medical education.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 589, as amended, Fox. Medical education: underrepresented medical specialties.
Existing law establishes the Student Aid Commission as the primary state agency for the administration of state-authorized student financial aid programs available to students attending all segments of postsecondary education.
Existing law establishes various educational loan assumption programs, administered by the commission, under which a qualified person enrolled in an institution of postsecondary education and participating in that loan assumption program is eligible to receive a conditional warrant for loan assumption, to be redeemed upon meeting the conditions of the loan assumption agreement.
This bill would enact the Dolores H. Fox Underrepresented Medical Specialties Act, which would establish a loan assumption program for physicians working full time in California practicing in underrepresented specialties, as defined. This program would provide loan assumption benefits to persons who agree to work full time for 4 consecutive years in California as physicians practicing in underrepresented specialties, as specified. The program provides for a progressive assumption of the amount of a qualifying loan over 4 consecutive years of qualifying practice, up to a total loan assumption of $20,000. The bill would require that, in any fiscal year, the commission award no more than the number of warrants that are authorized in the Budget Act for that fiscal year for the assumption of loans pursuant to the program. This program would become inoperative on July 1, 2019 2020, and would be repealed on January 1, 2020 2021.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Article 21.7 (commencing with Section 70015) is added to Chapter 2 of Part 42 of Division 5 of Title 3 of the Education Code, to read:
Article  21.7. Underrepresented Medical Specialties

70015.
 (a) (1) This article shall be known and may be cited as the “Dolores H. Fox Underrepresented Medical Specialties Act.”

(a)(1) Any

(2) Any person enrolled in an eligible institution, or any person who agrees to work full time in California practicing as a physician in an underrepresented specialty, may be eligible to enter into an agreement for loan assumption, to be redeemed pursuant to Section 70015.5 upon becoming employed in California as a physician practicing in an underrepresented specialty. In order to be eligible to enter into an agreement for loan assumption, an applicant shall satisfy all of the conditions specified in subdivision (b).

(2)

(3) As used in this article, “eligible institution” means a postsecondary institution that is determined by the Student Aid Commission to meet both of the following requirements:
(A) The institution is eligible to participate in state and federal financial aid programs.
(B) The institution maintains an accredited program of professional preparation for licensing as a physician in California.

(3)

(4) As used in this article, “underrepresented specialty” means any medical specialty field designated by the Medical Board of California as underrepresented in California pursuant to subdivision (e).
(b) (1) The applicant has been admitted to, or is enrolled in, or has successfully completed, an accredited program of professional preparation for licensing as a physician in California.
(2) The applicant is currently enrolled, or has been admitted to a program in which he or she will be enrolled, on a full-time basis, as determined by the participating institution. The applicant shall agree to maintain satisfactory academic progress and a minimum of full-time enrollment, as defined by the participating eligible institution.
(3) The applicant has been judged by his or her postsecondary institution to have outstanding ability on the basis of criteria that may include, but need not be limited to, any of the following:
(A) Grade point average.
(B) Test scores.
(C) Faculty evaluations.
(D) Interviews.
(E) Other recommendations.
(4) The applicant has received, or is approved to receive, a loan under one or more of the following designated loan programs:
(A) The Federal Family Education Loan Program (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1071 et seq.).
(B) Any loan program approved by the Student Aid Commission.
(5) The applicant has agreed to work full time for at least four consecutive years in California as a physician practicing in a an underrepresented specialty.
(c) No applicant who has completed fewer than 60 semester units, or the equivalent, shall be eligible under this section to participate in the loan assumption program set forth in this article.
(d) A person participating in the program pursuant to this section shall not enter into more than one agreement under this article.
(e) On or before March 1, 2014 2015, and on or before March 1 of each even-numbered odd-numbered year thereafter, the Medical Board of California shall designate one or more medical practice areas that the board deems to be specialties that are underrepresented in California as of the date of the designation, and prominently post a list of these medical practice areas on its Internet Web site.

70015.5.
 The commission shall commence loan assumption payments, as specified in Section 70016, upon verification that the applicant has fulfilled all of the following:
(a) The applicant has become a physician licensed to practice in California.
(b) The applicant is working full time in California as a physician practicing in an underrepresented specialty.
(c) The applicant has met the requirements of the agreement and all other pertinent conditions of this article.

70016.
 The terms of a loan assumption granted under this article shall be as follows, subject to the specific terms of each agreement:
(a) After a program participant has completed one year of full-time employment as described in subdivision (b) of Section 70015.5, the commission shall assume up to five thousand dollars ($5,000) of the participant’s outstanding liability under one or more of the designated loan programs.
(b) After a program participant has completed two years of full-time employment as described in subdivision (b) of Section 70015.5, the commission shall assume up to an additional five thousand dollars ($5,000) of the participant’s outstanding liability under one or more of the designated loan programs, for a total loan assumption of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
(c) After a program participant has completed three years of full-time employment as described in subdivision (b) of Section 70015.5, the commission shall assume up to an additional five thousand dollars ($5,000) of the participant’s outstanding liability under one or more of the designated loan programs, for a total loan assumption of up to fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000).
(d) After a program participant has completed four years of full-time employment as described in subdivision (b) of Section 70015.5, the commission shall assume up to an additional five thousand dollars ($5,000) of the participant’s outstanding liability under one or more of the designated loan programs, for a total loan assumption of up to twenty thousand dollars ($20,000).

70016.5.
 (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), if a program participant fails to complete a minimum of four consecutive years of full-time employment as required by this article, under the terms of the agreement pursuant to paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 70015, the participant shall retain full liability for all student loan obligations remaining after the commission’s assumption of loan liability for the last year of qualifying service as a physician practicing in an underrepresented specialty pursuant to Section 70016.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), if a program participant becomes unable to complete one of the four consecutive years of qualifying service as a physician practicing in an underrepresented specialty due to serious illness, pregnancy, or other natural causes, the term of the loan assumption agreement shall be extended for a period not to exceed one year. The commission shall make no further payments under the loan assumption agreement until the applicable work requirements as specified in Section 70015.5 have been are again satisfied.
(c) If a natural disaster prevents a program participant from completing one of the required years of work due to an interruption of employment, the term of the loan assumption agreement shall be extended for the period of time equal to the period from the interruption of employment until the resumption of employment. The commission shall make no further payments under the loan assumption agreement until the applicable employment requirements specified in Section 70015.5 have been are again satisfied.

70017.
 (a) The commission shall administer this article, and shall adopt rules and regulations for that purpose. The rules and regulations shall include, but need not be limited to, provisions regarding the period of time during which an agreement shall remain valid, the reallocation of resources in light of agreements that are not used by program participants, the failure, for any reason, of a program participant to complete a minimum of four consecutive years of qualifying service as a physician practicing in an underrepresented specialty, and the development of projections for funding purposes.
(b) If a provision is added to this article and the commission deems it necessary to adopt a rule or regulation to implement that provision, the commission shall develop and adopt that rule or regulation no later than six months after the operative date of the statute that adds the provision.

70017.5.
 On or before January 31, 2015 2016, and on or before each January 31 thereafter until, and including, January 31, 2019 2020, the commission shall report annually to the Legislature regarding both of the following, on the basis of sex, age, and ethnicity:
(a) The total number of program participants and the type of program of professional preparation they are attending or have attended.
(b) The numbers of participants who complete one, two, three, or four years of qualifying service as a physician practicing in an underrepresented specialty, respectively. specialty.

70018.
 On or before May 1, 2018 2019, the Legislative Analyst’s Office shall submit a report to the Legislature that includes the findings and recommendations of the Legislative Analyst with respect to the efficacy of the program established by this article.

70018.5.
 Reports pursuant to Sections 70017.5 and 70018 shall be submitted pursuant to Section 9795 of the Government Code.

70019.
 In selecting applicants for participation in this program, the commission shall grant priority to applicants who, in the determination of the commission, are included in any of the following categories:
(a) Persons who possess a baccalaureate degree at the time of initial application.
(b) Persons who are enrolled in an accelerated program of professional preparation for licensing as a physician in California.
(c) Persons who are recipients of federally subsidized student loans or other need-based student loans.

70019.5.
 Notwithstanding any other law, in any fiscal year, the commission shall award no more than the number of warrants that are authorized in the annual Budget Act for that fiscal year for the assumption of loans pursuant to this article.

70019.9.
 This article shall become inoperative on July 1, 2019 2020, and, as of January 1, 2020 2021, is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that becomes operative on or before January 1, 2020 2021, deletes or extends the dates on which it becomes inoperative and is repealed.