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Pennsylvania State Senate
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 13, 2015 09:51 AM
From: Senator Mario M. Scavello
To: All Senate members
Subject: Loan Forgiveness Program for Graduates Entering the Mental Health Intellectual Disability and Drug/Alcohol Treatment Professions
 
In the near future, I plan to re-introduce legislation (former HB 1557 of 2013) 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.

If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Christine Zubeck in my office at 717-787-6123 or czubeck@pasen.gov. Thank you for your consideration.



Introduced as SB671