Chief Sponsor: Carl R. Albrecht

Senate Sponsor: Ronald M. Winterton


9     General Description:
10          This bill makes changes to the Veterinarian Education Loan Repayment Program.
11     Highlighted Provisions:
12          This bill:
13          ▸     modifies the Veterinarian Education Loan Repayment Program (program) to make
14     annual loan balance payments; and
15          ▸     expands the program to a veterinarian whose practice includes at least 30%
16     livestock medicine.
17     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
18          None
19     Other Special Clauses:
20          None
21     Utah Code Sections Affected:
22     AMENDS:
23          4-2-901, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2023, Chapter 134
24          4-2-902, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2023, Chapter 134

26     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
27          Section 1. Section 4-2-901 is amended to read:

28          4-2-901. Definitions.
29          As used in this part:
30          (1) "Animal shelter" means the same as that term is defined in Section 11-46-102.
31          (2) "Education loan" means a loan received for education at a domestic or foreign
32     institution of higher education, including a school or college of veterinary medicine.
33          (3) "Education loan balance" includes charges for paying off the balance of the loan.
34          (4) "Indian country" means the same as that term is defined in 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1151.
35          (5) "Livestock" means the same as that term is defined in Section 4-1-109.
36          [(5)] (6) "Loan" means a loan that is made directly by, insured by, or guaranteed under
37     a government program of:
38          (a) a state;
39          (b) the United States; or
40          (c) a foreign government.
41          [(6)] (7) "Maximum payment value" means the lesser of:
42          (a) the sum of a qualified veterinarian's education loan balances; or
43          (b) [$100,000] $20,000.
44          [(7)] (8) "Program" means the Veterinarian Education Loan Repayment Program
45     created in Section 4-2-902.
46          [(8)] (9) "Qualified veterinarian" means a veterinarian who has practiced as a
47     veterinarian [for five or more consecutive years beginning on or after May 3, 2023]:
48          (a) in an area of the state[:] that is Indian country;
49          [(i) designated by the United States Department of Agriculture as a veterinary shortage
50     situation during at least one of the five years; or]
51          [(ii) that is Indian country;]
52          (b) in an animal shelter within the state operated by:
53          (i) a county;
54          (ii) a municipality; or
55          (iii) an organization that is exempt from federal income taxation under Section
56     501(c)(3), Internal Revenue Code;
57          (c) in any area of the state as an employee of the department; [or]
58          (d) in any combination of the places described in Subsections [(8)(a)] (9)(a) through

59     (c)[.]; or
60          (e) with a practice that includes at least 30% livestock medicine.
61          [(9)] (10) "Veterinarian" means an individual licensed under Title 58, Chapter 28,
62     Veterinary Practice Act.
63          Section 2. Section 4-2-902 is amended to read:
64          4-2-902. Veterinarian Education Loan Repayment Program.
65          (1) There is created within the department the Veterinarian Education Loan Repayment
66     Program.
67          (2) (a) Beginning July 1, [2028] 2024, the program shall on a first-come, first-served
68     basis make payments toward a qualified veterinarian's education loan balances.
69          (b) A veterinarian is eligible for payments under Subsection (2)(a) if the veterinarian:
70          (i) applies as a qualified veterinarian for payment from the program; and
71          (ii) registers with the program at least [five years] one year before the day the
72     veterinarian applies under Subsection (2)(b)(i) for payment.
73          (c) Payments made under Subsection (2)(a) shall:
74          (i) be made directly to one or more of the qualified veterinarian's lenders; [and]
75          (ii) as funding for the program permits, [in total] each year equal the maximum
76     payment value[.]; and
77          (iii) extend for a period no longer than five years for the qualified veterinarian.
78          (3) The department may use 2% or less of the amount appropriated for the program to
79     pay for actual costs of administering the program.
80          (4) On or before October 1 each year, the department shall submit a report of the
81     program's revenues, expenditures, and outcomes to the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and
82     Environment Interim Committee and the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environmental
83     Quality Appropriations Subcommittee.
84          (5) The department may make rules in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah
85     Administrative Rulemaking Act, to administer the program, including rules specifying how a
86     veterinarian may register intent to apply for payment from the program.
87          Section 3. Effective date.
88          This bill takes effect on May 1, 2024.