2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
November 30, 2017 - Introduced by Senators Tiffany and Marklein, cosponsored
by Representatives E. Brooks, Quinn, Tranel, Kulp, Bernier, Edming, Krug,
Mursau, Novak, Petryk, Pronschinske, Ripp, Spiros, Summerfield, Tauchen,
Tusler, Zimmerman and Horlacher. Referred to Committee on Workforce
Development, Military Affairs and Senior Issues.
1An Act to create
20.235 (1) (fr) and 39.51 of the statutes; relating to: student
2loan reimbursements for certain individuals domiciled in rural counties,
3granting rule-making authority, and making an appropriation.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill requires the Higher Educational Aids Board to make student loan
reimbursement payments on behalf of certain individuals who establish domiciles
in rural counties. To be eligible for the payments, an individual must have an
outstanding balance on a student loan for attending an “institution of higher
education," which is defined as a nonprofit or public educational institution that
either awards a bachelor's or higher degree, provides a program acceptable for full
credit toward such a degree, or provides a training program to prepare students for
gainful employment in a recognized occupation. In addition, the institution must
admit as regular students only individuals who have a high school graduation
certificate or its equivalent. Also, to be eligible, for at least six months, an individual
must have been domiciled in a “rural county," which the bill defines as a county that
does not include a metropolitan statistical area as delineated by the U.S. Office of
Management and Budget. Immediately prior to establishing that domicile, the
individual must have been domiciled outside this state for a period of at least five
years. In addition, to be eligible, an individual must be employed on a full-time basis
and not receive any public assistance benefits.
The bill requires an individual to submit an application that is prescribed by
HEAB. The application must identify 1) all student loans with an outstanding
balance; 2) the balance amounts; 3) loan payment schedules and maturity dates; and
4) the names and addresses of lenders. For each eligible individual who submits an
application, the bill requires HEAB to make five annual student loan payments to
the lenders identified on the application. The total amount of payments for an
individual must equal 40 percent of the outstanding balances, or $25,000, whichever
is less. If there are multiple lenders, HEAB must prorate the payments among the
lenders. If an individual pays the outstanding balance of a student loan prior to
HEAB making payments to a lender, HEAB must pay directly to the individual the
amounts that HEAB would have paid to the lender. If an individual who receives
payments does any of the following, the individual is ineligible for additional
payments: 1) establishes a domicile outside a rural county; 2) fails to be employed on
a full-time basis; or 3) receives public assistance benefits.
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:
20.235 (1) (fr) of the statutes is created to read:
(fr) Rural county assistance.
A sum sufficient for administering s. 3
39.51 and making payments under s. 39.51 (3).
39.51 of the statutes is created to read:
539.51 Rural county assistance.
In this section:
(a) “Institution of higher education" has the meaning given in s. 108.02 (18).
(b) “Lender" means a person to whom a student loan is repayable, including an 8
agency, subdivision, or agent of federal or state government with respect to a student 9
loan made under a federal or state student loan program.
(c) “Public assistance benefits" means services, benefits, payments, or other 11
assistance provided under a program administered by the department of health 12
services or the department of children and families under s. 253.06 or ch. 49.
(d) “Rural county" means a county that does not include a metropolitan 14
statistical area as delineated by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.
(e) “Student loan" means a loan made for the purpose of providing financial 2
assistance to attend an institution of higher education.
. (a) An individual is eligible for payments under sub. (3) if all 4
of the following apply:
1. The individual submits an application prescribed under par. (b) to the board 6
and, at the time of application, the individual has an outstanding balance on any 7
student loan made to the individual.
2. The individual has been domiciled in a rural county for at least 6 months.
3. Immediately prior to establishing the domicile under subd. 2., the individual 10
was domiciled outside this state for a period of at least 5 years.
4. The individual is employed on a full-time basis.
5. The individual does not receive public assistance benefits.
(b) The board shall prescribe the form of the application required under par. 14
(a) that shall require an applicant to identify all of the following:
1. All student loans made to the applicant for which there remains an 16
outstanding balance at the time of the application.
2. For each student loan identified under subd. 1., the amount of the 18
outstanding balance at the time of the application, the payment schedule for the 19
loan, and the scheduled maturity date of the loan.
3. For each student loan identified under subd. 1., the name of the lender and 21
the address for sending student loan payments to the lender.
(a) Except as provided in par. (b) and sub. (4), for each eligible 23
individual under sub. (2) (a) from whom the board receives an application, the board 24
shall make 5 annual student loan payments to each lender identified under sub. (2) 25
(b) 3. The total amount of all payments made on behalf of an individual under this
paragraph shall equal 40 percent of the outstanding balances of the individual's 2
student loans at the time of the application, or $25,000, whichever is less. If the 3
individual has identified more than one lender under sub. (2) (b) 3., the board shall 4
prorate the payments among the lenders.
(b) If an individual pays the entire outstanding balance of a student loan prior 6
to the board making payments to the lender under par. (a), the board shall pay 7
directly to the individual the amounts that the board would have paid to the lender.
If an individual for whom or to whom payments are made 9
under sub. (3) establishes a domicile outside a rural county, fails to be employed on 10
a full-time basis, or receives public assistance benefits, the board may not make any 11
additional payment on behalf of or to the individual under sub. (3).
The board may promulgate rules to administer this section.