Legislature(1995 - 1996)
05/02/1995 02:04 PM HES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SB 123 - POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION PROGRAMS Number 129 DR. JOE McCORMICK, Executive Director, Postsecondary Education Commission, Department of Education (DOE), said SB 123 is basically the same as HB 257 which was passed by the House HESS Committee. However, there are two notable exceptions. The loan limits, as they apply to career school programs, were modified to allow for a $6,500 annual maximum for programs that are 30 or more weeks in length. That is the standard definition of a year in length. A $4,500 maximum was established for programs that were less than 30 but more than 20 weeks in length; and a $3,000 maximum was allowed for programs of less than 20 weeks in length but at least 10 weeks. DR. McCORMICK continued that HB 257 had a total maximum loan eligibility of $79,000. The Senate modified that to $60,000. As a point of reference, the $60,000 does represent about a 26 percent increase over the current maximums allowed for under current law. In addition, SB 123 denies loans to individuals who are incarcerated full-time. HB 257 provided loans for incarcerated individuals who were scheduled for release within two months. DR. McCORMICK recommended that the HESS Committee embrace the Senate bill, and pass it. Number 268 CO-CHAIR BUNDE announced for the record that Representative Vezey joined the meeting at 2:08 p.m. CO-CHAIR CYNTHIA TOOHEY said her office received two communications from people who feared they would not be able to get loans for trade schools because those schools were less than six months in duration. She asked how those schools were addressed. DR. McCORMICK said the original house version, HB 257, proposed that those programs that were one year in length remain at $5,500, and those programs that were less than nine months in length were dropped to $4,000. The Senate version came up with a compromise that actually improves the situation regarding trade schools. Those programs that are a year in length are allowed $6,500. That is $1,000 more than they now receive. Those programs that are 20 to 30 weeks in length are allowed $3,500, which is $500 more than allowed by the House version. DR. McCORMICK continued that those programs that are less than 20 weeks but are at least 10 weeks in length are allowed $3,000 a year. Number 362 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY asked Dr. McCormick to comment on how many trade school or vocational programs are less than six months in length. DR. McCORMICK responded that approximately 70 to 80 percent of those programs are of that duration. They usually run about six months to a year. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked how many are less than six months in duration. DR. McCORMICK answered no more than 30 percent, perhaps only 10 to 15 percent. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said that is in terms of programs. If it is broken down into student classroom or learning hours, what are the numbers? DR. McCORMICK said it does not break down into very many students. Typically, a small school like that does not enroll more than 10 to 20 students per term. Those schools are usually very small operations. Number 431 REPRESENTATIVE CAREN ROBINSON joined the meeting at 2:10 p.m. REPRESENTATIVE TOM BRICE said in other words, something like a beauty school would no longer be eligible. DR. McCORMICK indicated that was not correct. Under SB 123 everyone who is currently eligible will still be eligible. The change occurs in the amounts allowed. Currently, all program lengths are eligible for the same amounts, regardless of the length of the program. SB 123 simply takes into account the length of the program. CO-CHAIR BUNDE closed public testimony and asked for the wish of the committee. REPRESENTATIVE BRICE moved CSSB 123(FIN) from the HESS Committee with individual recommendations and accompanying zero fiscal note. There were no objections, and the bill passed.