State of Illinois
92nd General Assembly

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[ Introduced ][ Engrossed ][ House Amendment 001 ]


HB4037 Enrolled                                LRB9211882NTsb

 1        AN ACT concerning higher education student assistance.

 2        Be it enacted by the People of  the  State  of  Illinois,
 3    represented in the General Assembly:

 4        Section 5. The Higher Education Student Assistance Act is
 5    amended by adding Section 65.70 as follows:

 6        (110 ILCS 947/65.70 new)
 7        Sec. 65.70.  Optometric Education Scholarship Program.
 8        (a)  The  General  Assembly  finds  and declares that the
 9    provision of graduate education leading to a doctoral  degree
10    in  optometry  for  persons  of this State who desire such an
11    education is important to the  health  and  welfare  of  this
12    State  and  Nation  and, consequently, is an important public
13    purpose. Many qualified potential optometrists  are  deterred
14    by  financial  considerations  from pursuing their optometric
15    education with consequent irreparable loss to the  State  and
16    Nation  of  talents vital to health and welfare. A program of
17    scholarships, repayment  of  which  may  be  excused  if  the
18    individual  practices  professional  optometry in this State,
19    will enable such individuals to attend  qualified  public  or
20    private institutions of their choice in the State.
21        (b)  Beginning  with  the  2003-2004  academic  year, the
22    Commission  shall,  each  year,  consider  applications   for
23    scholarship  assistance  under  this Section. An applicant is
24    eligible  for  a  scholarship  under  this  Section  if   the
25    Commission finds that the applicant is:
26             (1)  a United States citizen or eligible noncitizen;
27             (2)  a resident of Illinois; and
28             (3)  enrolled  on  a  full-time basis in a public or
29        private college of optometry located in this  State  that
30        awards a doctorate degree in optometry and is approved by
31        the Department of Professional Regulation.
HB4037 Enrolled             -2-                LRB9211882NTsb
 1        (c)  Each year the Commission shall award 10 scholarships
 2    under  this  Section  among  applicants qualified pursuant to
 3    subsection (b). Two  of  these  scholarships  each  shall  be
 4    awarded  to eligible applicants enrolled in their first year,
 5    second year, third year, and fourth  year.  The  remaining  2
 6    scholarships  shall  be  awarded to any level of student. The
 7    Commission shall receive funding for the scholarships through
 8    appropriations from the Optometric Licensing and Disciplinary
 9    Board Fund. If in any year the number of qualified applicants
10    exceeds  the  number  of  scholarships  to  be  awarded,  the
11    Commission shall give priority in  awarding  scholarships  to
12    students  demonstrating  exceptional  merit  and  who  are in
13    financial need. A scholarship  shall  be  in  the  amount  of
14    $5,000 each year applicable to tuition and fees.
15        (d)  The  total  amount of scholarship assistance awarded
16    by the Commission under this Section to an individual in  any
17    given  fiscal  year, when added to other financial assistance
18    awarded to that individual for that year,  shall  not  exceed
19    the  cost  of  attendance  at  the  institution  at which the
20    student is enrolled.
21        (e)  A recipient may receive up  to  8  semesters  or  12
22    quarters of scholarship assistance under this Section.
23        (f)  Subject  to  a  separate appropriation made for such
24    purposes, payment  of  any  scholarship  awarded  under  this
25    Section   shall   be   determined   by  the  Commission.  All
26    scholarship funds distributed in accordance with this Section
27    shall be paid to the institution on behalf of the recipients.
28    Scholarship funds are applicable  toward  2  semesters  or  3
29    quarters of enrollment within an academic year.
30        (g)  The   Commission  shall  administer  the  Optometric
31    Education Scholarship Program established by this Section and
32    shall make all necessary and proper  rules  not  inconsistent
33    with this Section for its effective implementation.
34        (h)  Prior  to  receiving  scholarship assistance for any
HB4037 Enrolled             -3-                LRB9211882NTsb
 1    academic year, each recipient of a scholarship awarded  under
 2    this  Section  shall be required by the Commission to sign an
 3    agreement under which the recipient pledges that, within  the
 4    one-year  period  following  the  termination of the academic
 5    program for which the recipient was  awarded  a  scholarship,
 6    the  recipient  shall  practice  in  this State as a licensed
 7    optometrist under the Illinois  Optometric  Practice  Act  of
 8    1987  for a period of not less than one year for each year of
 9    scholarship  assistance  awarded  under  this  Section.  Each
10    recipient shall, upon request of the Commission, provide  the
11    Commission  with evidence that he or she is fulfilling or has
12    fulfilled the terms of the practice agreement provided for in
13    this subsection.
14        (i)  If a recipient of a scholarship awarded  under  this
15    Section fails to fulfill the practice obligation set forth in
16    subsection  (h) of this Section, the Commission shall require
17    the  recipient  to  repay  the  amount  of  the  scholarships
18    received,  prorated  according  to  the   fraction   of   the
19    obligation  not completed, plus interest at a rate of 5% and,
20    if applicable, reasonable collection fees. The Commission  is
21    authorized  to  establish  rules  relating  to its collection
22    activities for repayment of scholarships under this Section.
23        (j)  A  recipient  of  a  scholarship  awarded   by   the
24    Commission  under  this  Section shall not be in violation of
25    the agreement entered into pursuant to subsection (h) if  the
26    recipient (i) is serving as a member of the armed services of
27    the  United  States;  (ii) is enrolled in a residency program
28    following graduation at an  approved  institution;  (iii)  is
29    temporarily   totally   disabled,  as  established  by  sworn
30    affidavit of a qualified physician; or (iii)  cannot  fulfill
31    the   employment   obligation   due  to  his  or  her  death,
32    disability,  or  incompetency,  as   established   by   sworn
33    affidavit  of  a  qualified physician. No claim for repayment
34    may be filed  against  the  estate  of  such  a  decedent  or
HB4037 Enrolled             -4-                LRB9211882NTsb
 1    incompetent.  Any  extension  of  the period during which the
 2    employment requirement must be fulfilled shall be subject  to
 3    limitations of duration as established by the Commission.

 4        Section 10.  The Illinois Optometric Practice Act of 1987
 5    is amended by changing Section 20 as follows:

 6        (225 ILCS 80/20) (from Ch. 111, par. 3920)
 7        (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2007)
 8        Sec.  20.   Fund.   All moneys received by the Department
 9    pursuant to this Act shall be  deposited  in  the  Optometric
10    Licensing  and  Disciplinary  Board  Fund,  which  is  hereby
11    created as a special fund in the State Treasury, and shall be
12    used  only for the administration of this Act, including: (a)
13    by the Board in the exercise of its powers and performance of
14    its duties, as such use is made by the Department  with  full
15    consideration  of  all  recommendations of the Board; (b) for
16    costs directly related to license renewal of persons licensed
17    under this Act; and (c) for  direct  and  allocable  indirect
18    costs  related  to  the  public purposes of the Department of
19    Professional Regulation.  Subject to appropriation, moneys in
20    the Optometric Licensing and Disciplinary Board Fund  may  be
21    used   for   the  Optometric  Education  Scholarship  Program
22    administered by the Illinois  Student  Assistance  Commission
23    pursuant  to  Section  65.70  of the Higher Education Student
24    Assistance Act.
25        Moneys in the Fund may be transferred to the  Professions
26    Indirect  Cost  Fund  as authorized under Section 2105-300 of
27    the  Department  of  Professional  Regulation  Law  (20  ILCS
28    2105/2105-300).
29        Money in the Optometric Licensing and Disciplinary  Board
30    Fund  may  be  invested  and  reinvested,  with  all earnings
31    received  from  such  investment  to  be  deposited  in   the
32    Optometric Licensing and Disciplinary Board Fund and used for
HB4037 Enrolled             -5-                LRB9211882NTsb
 1    the same purposes as fees deposited in such fund.
 2        Any  monies  in the Optometric Examining and Disciplinary
 3    Board Fund on  the  effective  date  of  this  Act  shall  be
 4    transferred  to  the  Optometric  Licensing  and Disciplinary
 5    Board Fund.
 6        Any  obligations  of   the   Optometric   Examining   and
 7    Disciplinary  Board Fund unpaid on the effective date of this
 8    Act  shall  be  paid  from  the  Optometric   Licensing   and
 9    Disciplinary Board Fund.
10    (Source: P.A. 91-239, eff. 1-1-00.)

11        Section  99.  Effective  date. This Act takes effect upon
12    becoming law.

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