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Loan repayment, social enterprise bills get favorable reports

The Providers’ Council is pleased to report that House Bill 124, An act establishing an education loan repayment program for direct care human service workers, has been reported favorably out of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities. It will be assigned to a committee for further review in the near future.

Filed by Rep. Jeffrey Roy on behalf of the Council, the bill would create a loan repayment program for credentialed direct care human service workers. They would be eligible to receive up to $150 per month for a period of no more than 48 months to help pay back student loans.

The Council and member organizations, including Roxbury Youthworks, testified before the Joint Committee is support of the bill in November 2015. The Council has scheduled a Loan Forgiveness and Repayment Roundtable for Tuesday, Jan. 29 with a local attorney, legislative consultant and others to look at student loan repayment options and discuss how to advocate for the Council’s loan repayment bill. More information about this event is available here.

Additionally, Senate Bill 1648, An act to promote purchasing from social enterprises by governmental bodies, received a favorable report from the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight.

The social enterprise bill was filed by Sen. Linda Dorcena-Forry for the Council. It would allow state procurement officers to purchase goods or services under $25,000 from a human service social enterprise without going through the request-for-referral (RFR) process.

The bills were reported out favorably on Wednesday, March 16 – so-called Joint Rule 10 day, the day by which House and Senate committees have to report out bills filed between the start of the current legislative session (in this case January 2015) and mid-February of 2016.

If you have questions about H.124, the student loan repayment bill, or S.1648, the social enterprise bill, please e-mail Bill Yelenak at bill@providers.org.