June 11, Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI) approved S.B.
649 and on June 17, he approved S.B.
648. S.B. 648 and S.B. 649 were tie-barred, meaning one bill cannot become
law without the other bill successfully passing and becoming law.
648 expands the Michigan Essential Health Provider
program to include loan repayment for dentists who chose to work in health
resource shortage areas. The bill also would remove the four-year maximum on
loan repayments and increase the annual maximum from $25,000 to $40,000. Additionally,
the bill would establish a lifetime maximum of
$200,000, payable over a period of four years or more.
649 expands a grant program for low-income minority
students to include dental students. The bill also would require an
assessment of the lifetime loan repayment maximum (established by S.B. 648) for
those covered by the Michigan Essential Health Provider loan repayment program.
The assessment would determine whether the cap was sufficient to facilitate the
placement and retention of professionals in underserved areas and whether the
maximum amount should be adjusted to reflect changes in tuition costs.