SECTION 1. Chapter 15A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 edition, is hereby amended by adding after section 19E, the following new section:-
Section 19F. (a) There shall be a student loan repayment program known as the gateway cities opportunity zones program, for the purpose of encouraging recent college or university graduates to work and live in a gateway municipality, as defined in section 3A of chapter 23A of the General Laws, by providing financial assistance for the repayment of qualified education loans, as defined below. The term “qualified education loan” shall mean any indebtedness including interest on such indebtedness incurred to pay tuition or other direct expenses incurred in connection with the pursuit of an undergraduate or graduate degree by an applicant, but shall not include loans made by any person related to the applicant. The program shall be administered by the board of education and shall be subject to appropriation. Nothing in this section guarantees an individual a right to the benefits provided in this section.
(b) Eligibility for the program shall be limited to persons who establish domicile and obtain employment in an individual gateway municipality. Said persons may apply for and be accepted to the program in a form and manner prescribed by the board. Once enrolled, a participant shall be entitled to a maximum of five years participation.
(c) The commonwealth shall repay a participant’s qualified education loan at a rate not to exceed two hundred and fifty dollars per month for a period not to exceed sixty months. Repayment shall be made to the participant annually upon the presentation by the participant of satisfactory evidence of payments under the loan. A participant shall not receive repayment of qualified education loans by the commonwealth under this section if: (1) the applicant is delinquent on any qualified education loan payment; or (2) the applicant does not maintain domicile or employment within the designated gateway municipality.
(d) Expenses for administration of the program may be retained in an interest bearing trust fund to be established by the board and expended for the costs of administering the program without further appropriation. Any funds remaining in the trust fund at the termination of the program shall be returned to the General Fund.
(e) On January 1, annually, the board shall report to the senate and house committee on ways and means, and the joint committee on higher education on the status of the program including, but not limited to: (1) the total number of applicants and participants in each gateway municipality and in the commonwealth; (2) the total cost of the program; and (3) efforts to publicize the program.
SECTION 2. The board shall promulgate regulations or guidelines to implement the program established pursuant to section 19F of chapter 15A of the General Laws, as appearing in section 1 above.
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The General Court provides this information as a public service and while we endeavor to keep the data accurate and current to the best of our ability, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.