SSSB 154: "An Act relating to a student loan repayment program for nurses, and amending the duties of the Board of Nursing that relate to this program; and providing for an effective date."
00 SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL NO. 154 01 "An Act relating to a student loan repayment program for nurses, and amending the 02 duties of the Board of Nursing that relate to this program; and providing for an effective 03 date." 04 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 05 * Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section 06 to read: 07 FINDINGS; PURPOSE. (a) The legislature finds that a shortage of qualified nurses 08 exists in this state. 09 (b) The purpose of this Act is to establish the Alaska nurse recruitment loan 10 repayment program to provide financial incentives through the repayment, in whole or part, 11 by the state of education loans for nurses upon the nurse's completing a term of employment 12 as a nurse in the state. 13 * Sec. 2. AS 08.68.100(a) is amended by adding a new paragraph to read: 14 (10) in consultation with the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary
01 Education, establish standards and eligibility criteria for the Alaska nurse recruitment 02 loan repayment program under AS 14.43.530 - 14.43.590, including the adoption of 03 necessary regulations and determination of areas of the state that have a shortage of 04 nurses. 05 * Sec. 3. AS 14.42.030(b) is amended to read: 06 (b) The commission shall 07 (1) administer the financial aid and interstate education compact 08 programs under AS 14.43.091 - 14.43.920 and 14.43.990, and AS 14.44; 09 (2) administer the provisions of AS 14.48 concerning regulation of 10 postsecondary educational institutions; 11 (3) resolve disputes under a consortium or other cooperative agreement 12 between institutions of public and private higher education in the state; [AND] 13 (4) serve as the state agency required under 20 U.S.C. 1001 - 1155; 14 and 15 (5) perform duties assigned under AS 14.43.530 - 14.43.590 16 (Alaska nurse recruitment loan repayment program). 17 * Sec. 4. AS 14.42.040 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 18 (c) The executive director of the commission shall administer the Alaska nurse 19 recruitment loan repayment program under AS 14.43.530 - 14.43.590 in accordance 20 with standards and eligibility criteria set by the Board of Nursing under AS 08.68.100. 21 * Sec. 5. AS 14.42.295(a) is amended to read: 22 (a) The board may elect to pay the state a return of contributed capital, or a 23 dividend, for each base fiscal year that the corporation's net income equals or exceeds 24 $2,000,000. The payment may not be less than 10 percent nor more than 35 percent, 25 as approved by the board, of the corporation's net income for the base fiscal year, and 26 is subject to the provisions of any applicable bond indentures of the corporation. If a 27 payment is authorized under this section, payment must be made available by the 28 corporation before the end of the fiscal year in which payment has been authorized. 29 The corporation shall notify the commissioner of revenue when the amount of the 30 payment authorized under this section is available for appropriation. The money 31 made available under this subsection may be appropriated for the Alaska nurse
01 recruitment loan repayment program under AS 14.43.530 - 14.43.590. 02 * Sec. 6. AS 14.43 is amended by adding new sections to read: 03 Article 9A. Alaska Nurse Recruitment Loan Repayment Program. 04 Sec. 14.43.530. Program established. (a) There is established the Alaska 05 nurse recruitment loan repayment program to provide financial incentives for qualified 06 nurses to work in this state through the repayment of education loans. 07 (b) The program is not a financial obligation of the corporation. 08 Sec. 14.43.540. Alaska nurse recruitment loan repayment program 09 account. (a) The Alaska nurse recruitment loan repayment program account is 10 created in the general fund. The account shall be used to provide financial awards for 11 the repayment of education loans under the program and to pay for the costs of 12 administering the program. 13 (b) The account includes money that the legislature appropriates from the 14 corporation's dividend to the state under AS 14.42.295, the interest and earnings on 15 money that are appropriated to the account, and funds contributed from federal or 16 other sources. If money available is inadequate to finance the requests from eligible 17 nurses under this program for a fiscal year, additional money may be requested from 18 the general fund and appropriated to the account for the program. 19 Sec. 14.43.550. Administration. (a) The Alaska nurse recruitment loan 20 repayment program shall be administered by the executive director using 21 (1) the standards and eligibility criteria of the program established by 22 the Board of Nursing under AS 08.68.100 and the eligibility criteria established under 23 AS 14.43.560; and 24 (2) the financial management standards for proper administration of 25 the Alaska nurse recruitment loan repayment program account as established by the 26 commission. 27 (b) After consultation with the Board of Nursing, the commission may adopt 28 regulations to carry out its duties and the executive director's duties under the 29 program. 30 Sec. 14.43.560. Eligibility criteria. In addition to program standards and 31 eligibility criteria established under AS 08.68.100, an applicant must meet the
01 following criteria: 02 (1) the applicant was hired as a nurse in this state on or after July 1, 03 2003; 04 (2) the applicant is employed as a nurse in this state during the loan 05 repayment period; 06 (3) the applicant has the required license to practice as a nurse in this 07 state; 08 (4) the applicant shall agree to fulfill any requirement of the program; 09 (5) the applicant has outstanding education loans from a lending 10 institution to be repaid under the program. 11 Sec. 14.43.570. Conditions and limitations on loan payments. (a) The total 12 amount of nursing education loans and interest on loans repaid for an individual may 13 not exceed $10,000 in a lifetime for a nurse. An award under this section shall be paid 14 on an annual basis over a period of at least five years. The maximum annual award 15 under this section is the lesser of 16 (1) $2,000; or 17 (2) 20 percent of the total loan and interest amount owed by the 18 program participant. 19 (b) An award must be conditioned on the availability of money for the 20 program. The executive director shall monitor the outstanding financial awards made 21 under the program to ensure the adequacy of the balance of the account to meet 22 program needs. If the executive director finds that the balance of the account is 23 (1) insufficient to pay for existing awards, the executive director shall 24 prorate the money available in the account among all existing award recipients and 25 shall suspend the acceptance of new applications and the processing of pending 26 applications under the program; and 27 (2) sufficient for existing awards but insufficient for new or pending 28 applicants, the executive director shall pay existing awards and shall award the money 29 available for new or pending applicants according to criteria approved by the Board of 30 Nursing. 31 (c) An educational loan or interest on a loan is not eligible for repayment
01 under the program if the loan or interest is eligible for repayment under another 02 source, including another loan repayment or forgiveness program. 03 Sec. 14.43.590. Definitions. In AS 14.43.530 - 14.43.590, unless the context 04 otherwise requires, 05 (1) "account" means the Alaska nurse recruitment loan repayment 06 program account established in AS 14.43.540; 07 (2) "executive director" means the executive director of the 08 commission; 09 (3) "nurse" means a person licensed as a registered or practical nurse 10 under AS 08.68.170; 11 (4) "program" means the Alaska nurse recruitment loan repayment 12 program. 13 * Sec. 7. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 14 read: 15 TRANSITION: REGULATIONS. Notwithstanding sec. 9 of this Act, the state Board 16 of Nursing and the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education may immediately 17 proceed to adopt regulations necessary to implement their respective duties under this Act. 18 The regulations take effect under AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act), but not before 19 July 1, 2003. 20 * Sec. 8. Section 7 of this Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c) 21 * Sec. 9. Except as provided in sec. 8 of this Act, this Act takes effect July 1, 2003.