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AB-697 Nursing education: service in state veterans homes.(2013-2014)

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AB697:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 697


Introduced by Assembly Member Gomez

February 21, 2013


An act to add and repeal Article 2 (commencing with Section 70130) of Chapter 3 of Part 42 of Division 5 of Title 3 of the Education Code, relating to nursing education.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 697, as introduced, Gomez. Nursing education: service in state veterans homes.
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 the State Nursing Assumption Program of Loans for Education (SNAPLE), administered by the commission, under which any 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 becoming employed as a full-time nursing faculty member at a California college or university.
This bill would establish a loan assumption program for employees of state veterans’ homes within the SNAPLE program. This program would provide loan assumption benefits to persons who fulfill agreements to work full time for 4 consecutive years as clinical registered nurses in state veterans’ homes, as specified, that employ registered nurses. The program provides for a progressive assumption of the amount of a qualifying loan over 4 consecutive years of qualifying clinical registered nursing service, 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 This program would become inoperative on July 1, 2019, and would be repealed on January 1, 2020.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Article 2 (commencing with Section 70130) is added to Chapter 3 of Part 42 of Division 5 of Title 3 of the Education Code, to read:
Article  2. Service in State Veterans’ Homes

70130.
 (a) (1) Any person enrolled in an eligible institution, or any person who agrees to work full time as a registered nurse in a state veterans’ home that employs registered nurses, may be eligible to enter into an agreement for loan assumption, to be redeemed pursuant to Section 70131 upon becoming employed as a clinical registered nurse in a state veterans’ home that employs registered nurses. 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) 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 registered nurse in California.
(3) As used in this article, “state veterans’ home” means any of the institutions referenced in Section 1011 of the Military and Veterans Code.
(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 registered nurse in California. However, a person who is currently employed as a registered nurse in a state veterans’ home may be eligible to enter into an agreement for loan assumption under Article 1 (commencing with Section 70100), but is not eligible to enter into an agreement for loan assumption under this article.
(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 as a clinical registered nurse in a state veterans’ home that employs registered nurses.
(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.

70131.
 The commission shall commence loan assumption payments, as specified in Section 70132, upon verification that the applicant has fulfilled all of the following:
(a) The applicant has become a registered nurse licensed to practice in California.
(b) The applicant is working full time as a clinical registered nurse in a state veterans’ home that employs registered nurses.
(c) The applicant has met the requirements of the agreement and all other pertinent conditions of this article.

70132.
 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 70131, 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 70131, 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 70131, 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 70131, 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).

70133.
 (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 70130, 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 clinical registered nursing service pursuant to Section 70132.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), if a program participant becomes unable to complete one of the four consecutive years of qualifying clinical registered nursing service 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 70131 have been satisfied.
(c) If a natural disaster prevents a program participant from completing one of the required years of work due to the interruption of employment at the employing state veterans’ home, the term of the loan assumption agreement shall be extended for the period of time equal to the period from the interruption of employment at the employing state veterans’ home 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 70131 have been satisfied.

70134.
 (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 clinical registered nursing service, 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.

70135.
 On or before January 31, 2015, and on or before each January 31 thereafter until, and including, January 31, 2019, 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 clinical registered nursing service, respectively.

70136.
 On or before May 1, 2018, the Office of the Legislative Analyst 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.

70137.
 Reports pursuant to Sections 70135 and 70136 shall be submitted pursuant to Section 9795 of the Government Code.

70138.
 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 registered nurse in California.
(c) Persons who are recipients of federally subsidized student loans or other need-based student loans.

70139.
 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.

70140.
 This article shall become inoperative on July 1, 2019, and, as of January 1, 2020, is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that becomes operative on or before January 1, 2020, deletes or extends the dates on which it becomes inoperative and is repealed.