SENATE DOCKET, NO. 592        FILED ON: 1/18/2017

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 42

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Jennifer L. Flanagan

_________________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
Court assembled:

The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act relative to creating a loan repayment program for human service workers.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

 

Jennifer L. Flanagan

Worcester and Middlesex

 

Jennifer E. Benson

37th Middlesex

1/26/2017

Todd M. Smola

1st Hampden

1/26/2017

Jack Lewis

7th Middlesex

1/31/2017

Patrick M. O'Connor

Plymouth and Norfolk

1/31/2017

Kimberly N. Ferguson

1st Worcester

1/31/2017

Denise Provost

27th Middlesex

1/31/2017

Michael J. Rodrigues

First Bristol and Plymouth

2/2/2017

Diana DiZoglio

14th Essex

2/1/2017

Brian Murray

10th Worcester

2/1/2017

Hannah Kane

11th Worcester

2/2/2017

Kate Hogan

3rd Middlesex

2/2/2017

Joan B.  Lovely

Second Essex

2/2/2017

James B. Eldridge

Middlesex and Worcester

2/2/2017

Stephan Hay

3rd Worcester

2/2/2017

Michael D. Brady

Second Plymouth and Bristol

2/3/2017

Barbara A. L'Italien

Second Essex and Middlesex

2/3/2017

Kay Khan

11th Middlesex

2/3/2017

Thomas M. Stanley

9th Middlesex

2/3/2017

José F. Tosado

9th Hampden

2/3/2017

Sal N. DiDomenico

Middlesex and Suffolk

2/3/2017

Anne M. Gobi

Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire and Middlesex

2/3/2017

Michael O. Moore

Second Worcester

2/8/2017

Kathleen O'Connor Ives

First Essex

3/27/2017

Jason M. Lewis

Fifth Middlesex

6/22/2017

 



SENATE DOCKET, NO. 592        FILED ON: 1/18/2017

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 42

By Ms. Flanagan, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 42) of Jennifer L. Flanagan, Jennifer E. Benson, Todd M. Smola, Jack Lewis and other members of the General Court for legislation to create a loan repayment program for human service workers.  Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities.

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

 

_______________

In the One Hundred and Ninetieth General Court
(2017-2018)

_______________

 

An Act relative to creating a loan repayment program for human service workers.

 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

Section 16 of Chapter 6A shall be amended by inserting the following new section, 16A. There shall be a student loan repayment program for human service workers for the purpose of encouraging individuals to enter and continue to work in human service programs. The Executive Office of Health and Human Services shall administer the program in accordance with guidelines promulgated by the Department of Education.

The term “qualified education loan” shall mean any indebtedness, including interest on such indebtedness, incurred to pay tuition or other direct expenses incurred in the connection with the pursuit of a certificate, undergraduate or graduate degree by an applicant. It shall not include loans made by any person related to the applicant.

To be eligible for this program, a participant must be working a minimum of 35 hours per week as a human service worker and have an individual income of no more than $45,000 per year. Further, individuals must have maintained 12 consecutive months of employment at a minimum of 35 hours per week to be eligible for this program. This program will help defray costs from previously incurred student loans for graduates holding certificate, undergraduate or graduate degrees.

Eligible participants in this program can be reimbursed up to $1,800 per year based on the amount of loan payments made by the participant. The Commonwealth shall repay the eligible participant’s student loan at a rate not to exceed $150 per month for a period not to exceed 48 months. Payments by the Commonwealth shall cover loan payments by the eligible participant only during the months in which the human service workers provides services in the Commonwealth.

A “human service worker” is defined as an individual employed by a human service organization who provides services by supporting individuals’ and families’ efforts to function in daily living situations. Human service worker is a generic term for people who hold professional jobs in settings such as group homes; institutional or residential settings; correctional or community health centers; at family, child and youth service agencies; and at programs that help individuals affected by alcoholism, drug abuse, family violence and/or aging.