After a slow start, at least for veterinary and public health issues, the 112th Congress is picking up speed!
The Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Enhancement Act was introduced last week by U.S Senators Tim Johnson (D-ND) and Mike Crapo (R-ID).
This bipartisan legislation will help the country address a critical shortage of veterinarians serving our rural areas by making the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program tax-exempt, thereby increasing the number of veterinarians who can participate in the program. The act would also apply to similar state programs that encourage veterinarians to practice in underserved communities.
The Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Enhancement Act already has the support of 140 animal, agricultural and veterinary medicine organizations nationwide.
Also—we know that at least one Senator went on the bill with the help of the students who came in for the 3rd Annual Student Fly-in! Grassroots advocacy in action!
Another bill, the Veterinary Public Health Amendments Act (HR 525) passed in the House of Representatives last week. This bill will make veterinary public health one of the eligible groups for loan repayment and workforce grants which will help combat a shortage of veterinarians in public health positions.
You can keep up with news about what’s happening in Congress by signing up to AVMA’s Congressional Advocacy Network (AVMA-CAN).
As a member of AVMA-CAN, you’ll receive updates on current legislation and regulatory measures related to your profession, and you’ll be able to stay in contact with federal officials in your home state and around the nation.
Sign up here!