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92_HB3650 LRB9210208NTcd 1 AN ACT relating to higher education. 2 Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, 3 represented in the General Assembly: 4 Section 5. The Higher Education Student Assistance Act 5 is amended by adding Section 45.5 as follows: 6 (110 ILCS 947/45.5 new) 7 Sec. 45.5. Firefighter and EMS provider grant program. 8 (a) As used in this Section: 9 "Active paid on-call firefighter" means a member of an 10 active volunteer fire department who has had basic training 11 as defined in subsection (f) of Section 2 of the Illinois 12 Fire Protection Training Act and in the past 12 months has 13 (i) participated in all required training exercises, (ii) has 14 responded to a fire or other emergency call, and (iii) has 15 received a form of monetary compensation for each emergency 16 situation he or she has responded to. 17 "Active volunteer fire department" means a fire 18 department that is staffed by volunteers for the purpose of 19 combating fires. 20 "Active volunteer firefighter" means a member of an 21 active volunteer fire department who has had basic training 22 as defined in subsection (f) of Section 2 of the Illinois 23 Fire Protection Training Act and in the past 12 months has 24 (i) participated in all required training exercises and (ii) 25 has responded to a fire or other emergency call. 26 "EMS provider" means a person who is certified or 27 authorized under the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems 28 Act to provide emergency medical services and who provides 29 those services as a participant in an EMS System. 30 "Fees" means matriculation, graduation, activity, term, 31 or incidental fees. Exemption shall not be granted from any -2- LRB9210208NTcd 1 other fees, including book rental, service, laboratory, 2 supply, and union building fees, hospital and medical 3 insurance fees, and any fees established for the operation 4 and maintenance of buildings, the income of which is pledged 5 to the payment of interest and principal on bonds issued by 6 the governing board of any university or community college. 7 "State-controlled university or community college" means 8 those institutions under the administration of the Chicago 9 State University Board of Trustees, the Eastern Illinois 10 University Board of Trustees, the Governors State University 11 Board of Trustees, the Illinois State University Board of 12 Trustees, the Northeastern Illinois University Board of 13 Trustees, the Northern Illinois University Board of Trustees, 14 the Western Illinois University Board of Trustees, the 15 Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees, the 16 University of Illinois Board of Trustees, or the Illinois 17 Community College Board. 18 "Tuition and fees" does not include expenses for any 19 sectarian or denominational instruction, the construction or 20 maintenance of sectarian or denominational facilities, or any 21 other sectarian or denominational purposes or activity. 22 (b) Subject to the limitations provided in this Section, 23 any person who has served at least 3 years as (i) an active 24 volunteer, paid on-call, or full-time firefighter with a fire 25 department in a municipality with a population of less than 26 10,000 or (ii) an EMS provider with an EMS System located in 27 whole or in part in a municipality with a population of less 28 than 10,000 and who possesses all necessary entrance 29 requirements shall, upon application and proper proof, be 30 awarded a grant to the State-controlled university or 31 community college of his or her choice, consisting of 32 exemption from tuition and fees for not more than the 33 equivalent of 4 years of full-time enrollment in relation to 34 his or her course of study at that State-controlled -3- LRB9210208NTcd 1 university or community college while he or she serves as an 2 active volunteer, paid on-call, or full-time firefighter with 3 that fire department or while he or she serves as an EMS 4 provider with that EMS System. However, not more than 2 5 grants per year may be awarded to firefighters within the 6 same fire department and not more than 2 grants per year may 7 be awarded to EMS providers within the same EMS System. 8 If the recipient of any grant awarded under this Section 9 for a firefighter ceases to serve as an active volunteer, 10 paid on-call, or full-time firefighter with the fire 11 department that he or she was with to qualify for the grant 12 while enrolled in a course of study under that grant, the 13 grant shall be terminated as of the date service as an active 14 volunteer, paid on-call, or full-time firefighter with that 15 fire department ended, and the recipient shall be permitted 16 to complete the school term in which he or she is then 17 enrolled only upon payment of tuition and other fees 18 allocable to the part of the term then remaining. If the 19 recipient of any grant awarded under this Section for an EMS 20 provider ceases to serve as an EMS provider with the EMS 21 System that he or she was with to qualify for the grant while 22 enrolled in a course of study under that grant, the grant 23 shall be terminated as of the date service as an EMS provider 24 with that EMS System ended, and the recipient shall be 25 permitted to complete the school term in which he or she is 26 then enrolled only upon payment of tuition and other fees 27 allocable to the part of the term then remaining. 28 Before receiving grant assistance under this Section for 29 any academic year, each grant recipient shall be required by 30 the Commission to sign an agreement under which the recipient 31 pledges (i) for a firefighter, that he or she shall remain an 32 active volunteer, paid on-call, or full-time firefighter with 33 the fire department that he or she was with to qualify for 34 the grant for a period of not less than one year for each -4- LRB9210208NTcd 1 year of grant assistance that he or she receives under this 2 Section or for an EMS provider, that he or she shall remain 3 an EMS provider with the EMS System that he or she was with 4 to qualify for the grant for a period of not less than one 5 year for each year of grant assistance that he or she 6 receives under this Section and (ii) that he or she shall, 7 upon request by the Commission, provide the Commission with 8 evidence that he or she is fulfilling or has fulfilled this 9 obligation. If the recipient fails to fulfill this 10 obligation, then the Commission shall require the recipient 11 to repay the amount of the grant assistance received, 12 prorated according to the fraction of the obligation not 13 completed, at a rate of interest equal to 5%, and, if 14 applicable, to pay reasonable collection fees. A recipient 15 who is enrolled in an institution of higher learning shall 16 not be required to commence repayment so long as he or she 17 remains enrolled in an institution of higher learning on a 18 full-time basis or if he or she can document for the 19 Commission special circumstances that warrant extension of 20 the time before repayment is required. The Commission is 21 authorized to establish rules relating to its collection 22 activities for repayment of grant assistance under this 23 Section. All repayments collected under this Section shall be 24 forwarded to the State Comptroller for deposit into the 25 General Revenue Fund. A recipient shall not be considered in 26 violation of the agreement entered into pursuant to this 27 subsection (b) if the recipient (i) is serving as a member of 28 the armed services of the United States, for a period of time 29 not to exceed 3 years, (ii) is temporarily totally disabled, 30 for a period of time not to exceed 3 years, as established by 31 sworn affidavit of a qualified physician, or (iii) becomes 32 permanently totally disabled, as established by sworn 33 affidavit of a qualified physician. 34 A grant awarded under this Section shall be considered an -5- LRB9210208NTcd 1 entitlement that the State-controlled university or community 2 college in which the holder is enrolled shall honor without 3 any condition other than the holder's maintenance of minimum 4 grade levels and a satisfactory student loan repayment record 5 pursuant to subsection (c) of Section 20 of this Act. 6 (c) Subject to a separate appropriation for such 7 purposes, the Commission may reimburse the State-controlled 8 university or community college for grants authorized by this 9 Section. 10 Section 90. The State Mandates Act is amended by adding 11 Section 8.26 as follows: 12 (30 ILCS 805/8.26 new) 13 Sec. 8.26. Exempt mandate. Notwithstanding Sections 6 14 and 8 of this Act, no reimbursement by the State is required 15 for the implementation of any mandate created by this 16 amendatory Act of the 92nd General Assembly. 17 Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect on 18 July 1, 2002.
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