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S.F. No. 1181 - Modifying Aviation Degree Loan Forgiveness Provisions
Author: Senator Jim Abeler
Prepared By: Joan White, Senate Counsel (651/296-3814)
Date: February 20, 2019


S.F. No. 1181 modifies the aviation degree loan forgiveness program.

Section 1 (136A.1789, subdivision 1) amends definitions.  Paragraph (b) narrows the definition of “qualified aircraft technician” by requiring the person to have earned an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, preparing the individual for an aviation mechanic’s certificate.  Current law allows a person with any associate’s or bachelors’ degree to be eligible.  The requirement that the individual also obtain an aviation mechanic’s certificate remains.

Paragraph (c) expands the definition of “qualified education loan” to include reasonable educational and living expenses related to the postsecondary education of the qualified aircraft technician or qualified pilot.  Current law only allows loans for tuition for a professional flight training degree from a Minnesota postsecondary institution.

Paragraph (d) narrows the definition of “qualified pilot” by requiring the person to have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree preparing the individual for an airline transport pilot certificate.  The requirement that the degree be in professional flight training is stricken.

Section 2 (136A.1789, subdivision 3) requires an applicant who is selected to participate in the loan forgiveness program to sign a contract to agree to serve a five-year full-time service obligation, instead of a minimum of one year.

Section 3 (136A.1789, subdivision 5) requires a participant to provide verification that the final disbursement was applied toward the designated qualified education loan within 12 months, instead of six months. If verification is not received, the commissioner must collect the total amount paid under the loan forgiveness program plus interest.  Current law requires the commissioner to collect the amount of the final disbursement.

Section 4 appropriates funds from the general fund to the Office of Higher Education for transfer to the aviation degree loan forgiveness program.

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