HB 2143 creates the medical student loan account in the state treasury. Expenditures from the account may only be used for medical student loans to participants in the program established through the legislation and costs associated with program administration of the office of student financial assistance. The office shall administer the program with specified elements, including: a low interest rate; an annual loan limit; schedule for loan repayment; a specified interest rate. The office shall also establish an application, selection and notification process; define the terms of repayment; collect and manage repayments on the loans; solicit and accept grants and donations; exercise discretion to revise repayment obligations in certain cases; publicize the program; and adopt necessary rules. HB 2143 requires the office to submit an annual report to the governor and appropriate committees of the legislature and delineates what needs to be included in the report. Required service obligation for participants must be established.
Proposed Committee Amendments:
· Makes a technical change to the definition of "eligible student" to correctly reflect when the student needs to work as a physician in a rural area in Washington, which is following residency, not following graduation.
· Makes a technical change to the account provision to reflect that any part of an account subject to appropriation must be subject to allotment procedures.
· Clarifies that the advanced degree scholarships for the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship program must be in health professions needed to provide care in health professional shortage areas.
· Modifies the definition of "health professional shortage area" to refer to health professional shortage areas designated by the United States Health Resources and Services Administration or the Washington State Department of Health.