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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 23, 2014 03:02 PM
From: Representative Thomas P. Murt
To: All House members
Subject: Loan Forgiveness Program for Graduates Entering Mental Health, Intellectual Disabilities, and Drug/Alcohol Treatment Professions
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that provides for a loan forgiveness program for qualified college graduates entering the mental health, intellectual disability and drug and alcohol treatment professions.

The need for appropriate and accessible community-based services for individuals with mental health, intellectual disabilities and individuals with substance abuse addictions has been a pressing issue for many years. Due to low wages and high turnover, there is a critical shortage of direct care staff members to provide these services. County agencies and private providers have difficulty attracting and retaining qualified employees. The results have impacted the ability of communities to provide adequate services.

Paying for a portion of student loans for staff members in this field serves an important public purpose by encouraging new graduates to pursue careers in mental health, intellectual disabilities and drug and alcohol addiction counseling.

Introduced as HB132