2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
October 19, 2017 - Introduced by Representatives Tusler, Quinn, Goyke,
Anderson, Berceau, E. Brooks, Considine, Crowley, Doyle, Edming,
Genrich, Horlacher, Mason, Mursau, Pope, C. Taylor, Subeck and Kessler,
cosponsored by Senators Testin and Vinehout. Referred to Committee on
Colleges and Universities.
1An Act relating to: a Public Defender Board student loan payment pilot
2program and making an appropriation.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill directs the Public Defender Board to establish a student loan payment
pilot program for private bar attorneys who accept public defender appointments.
The program would provide a payment to use to repay student loans of up to $20,000
per year for attorneys in counties with a population of 25,000 or less who agree to
accept at least 50 state public defender appointments per year. The bill provides
$250,000 GPR in each fiscal year of the 2017-19 biennium for the program.
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
Student loan payment pilot program.
(a) The public defender board shall conduct a student loan payment pilot 6
program for private bar attorneys who accept public defender appointments. The
program shall provide up to $20,000 per year, or the outstanding balance on the 2
attorney's student loans, whichever is less, to eligible attorneys to use to repay 3
student loans. To be eligible to receive a payment under this paragraph in any 4
calendar year, an attorney must meet all of the following criteria:
1. The attorney is licensed to practice law in Wisconsin.
2. The attorney is certified to accept state public defender appointments.
3. The attorney agrees to accept a minimum of 50 state public defender 8
appointments per year.
4. The attorney maintains a law practice that either is headquartered or 10
performs a demonstrated majority of its legal work in a county with a population of 11
25,000 or fewer residents.
5. The attorney has outstanding student loans that were incurred to obtain a 13
juris doctor degree from an accredited university.
(b) An attorney who will meet all of the criteria under paragraph (a) may apply 15
for the student loan payment pilot program beginning on January 1 of each year to 16
qualify to receive a payment at the end of that year. Applications will be accepted 17
on a rolling basis and all payments will be disbursed in the order that applications 18
are received. At the end of the year, the attorney must certify that he or she has met 19
all of the criteria for that year and must provide proof of his or her outstanding 20
student loan balance on January 1 of that year to determine the payment amount 21
that he or she is eligible to receive under the program.
(c) The public defender board may promulgate emergency rules under section 23
227.24 of the statutes to implement the program under paragraph (a) for the period 24
before the effective date of permanent rules but not to exceed the period authorized 25
under section 227.24 (1) (c) of the statutes, subject to extension under section 227.24
(2) of the statutes. Notwithstanding section 227.24 (1) (a), (2) (b), and (3) of the 2
statutes, the board is not required to provide evidence that promulgating a rule 3
under this paragraph as an emergency rule is necessary for the preservation of the 4
public peace, health, safety, or welfare and is not required to provide a finding of 5
emergency for a rule promulgated under this paragraph.
(1) Student loan payment pilot program.
In the schedule under section 20.005 8
(3) of the statutes for the appropriation to the public defender board under section 9
20.550 (1) (a) of the statutes, the dollar amount for fiscal year 2017-18 is increased 10
by $250,000 to conduct a student loan payment pilot program under
1 (1) of 11
this act for private bar attorneys who accept public defender appointments and who 12
meet certain additional criteria. In the schedule under section 20.005 (3) of the 13
statutes for the appropriation to the public defender board under section 20.550 (1) 14
(a) of the statutes, the dollar amount for fiscal year 2018-19 is increased by $250,000 15
to conduct a student loan payment pilot program under Section
1 (1) of this act for 16
private bar attorneys who accept public defender appointments and who meet 17
certain additional criteria.