Text: S.1709 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (09/24/2009)


111th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 1709


To amend the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 to establish a grant program to promote efforts to develop, implement, and sustain veterinary services, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

September 24, 2009

Ms. Stabenow (for herself, Mr. Thune, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Cochran, Mr. Johanns, Mr. Grassley, Mr. Barrasso, Mr. Isakson, Mr. Chambliss, Ms. Klobuchar, Mr. Tester, Mr. Baucus, Mr. Harkin, Mr. Sanders, Mrs. Gillibrand, Mr. Crapo, Mr. Bennet, Mr. Leahy, Mr. Brownback, and Mr. Nelson of Nebraska) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry


A BILL

To amend the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 to establish a grant program to promote efforts to develop, implement, and sustain veterinary services, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Veterinary Services Investment Act”.

SEC. 2. Veterinary services and outreach grant program.

The National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 is amended by inserting after section 1415A (7 U.S.C. 3151a) the following:

“SEC. 1415B. Veterinary services and outreach grant program.

“(a) Definitions.—In this section:

“(1) QUALIFIED ENTITY.—The term ‘qualified entity’ means the following:

“(A) A for-profit or nonprofit entity located in the United States that operates a veterinary clinic providing veterinary services—

“(i) in a rural area, as defined in section 1393(a)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; or

“(ii) in response to a veterinarian shortage situation.

“(B) A State, national, allied, or regional veterinary organization or specialty board recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

“(C) A college or school of veterinary medicine accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

“(D) A university research foundation or veterinary medical foundation.

“(E) A department of veterinary science or department of comparative medicine at an accredited institution of higher education recognized by the Department of Education.

“(F) A State agricultural experiment station.

“(G) A State, local, or tribal government agency.

“(2) VETERINARIAN SHORTAGE SITUATION.—The term ‘veterinarian shortage situation’ means a veterinarian shortage situation determined by the Secretary under section 1415A(b).

“(b) Establishment of program.—

“(1) COMPETITIVE GRANTS.—The Secretary shall carry out a program to make competitive grants to qualified entities described in paragraph (2) for the purpose of developing, implementing, and sustaining veterinary services.

“(2) ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS.—To be eligible for a grant under this section, a qualified entity shall carry out programs or activities that the Secretary determines will—

“(A) substantially relieve veterinary shortage situations;

“(B) support or facilitate private veterinary practices engaged in public health activities; or

“(C) support or facilitate practices of veterinarians who are participating in, or have successfully completed, a service requirement under section 1415A.

“(c) Award processes and preferences.—

“(1) APPLICATION, EVALUATION, AND INPUT PROCESSES.—In administering the grant program under this section, the Secretary shall—

“(A) use an appropriate application and evaluation process; and

“(B) seek the input of interested persons.

“(2) GRANT PREFERENCES.—In selecting qualified entities to receive a grant under this section, the Secretary shall give a preference to qualified entities that—

“(A) document coordination between or with—

“(i) a State, national, allied, or regional veterinary organization, a specialty board, or veterinary medical association recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association;

“(ii) the applicable accredited veterinary education institution or department of veterinary science or department of comparative medicine at an accredited institution of higher education recognized by the Department of Education; or

“(iii) the applicable State veterinarian or animal health official (or equivalent official); and

“(B) will use the grant funds to help to meet veterinary workforce or food protection needs.

“(3) ADDITIONAL PREFERENCES.—In awarding grants under this section, the Secretary may develop additional preferences by taking into account—

“(A) the amount of funds available for grants; and

“(B) the purposes for which the grant funds will be used.

“(4) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER PROVISIONS.—Sections 1413B, 1462(a), and subsections (a)(3) and (c) of section 1469 shall apply to the administration of the grant program under this section.

“(d) Cost-Sharing requirements.—

“(1) RECIPIENT SHARE.—A grant recipient shall provide matching non-Federal funds, either in the form of cash or in-kind contributions, in an amount equal to not less than 25 percent of the Federal funds provided in a grant under this section.

“(2) WAIVER.—The Secretary may establish, by regulation, conditions under which the cost-sharing requirements of paragraph (1) may be reduced or waived.

“(e) Use of grant To relieve veterinary shortage situations and support veterinary services.—Funds provided by grants under this section may be used for the following purposes to relieve veterinary shortage situations and support veterinary services:

“(1) Grants to promote recruitment, placement, and retention of—

“(A) veterinarians;

“(B) veterinary technicians;

“(C) students of veterinary medicine; and

“(D) students of veterinary technology.

“(2) Grants to assist veterinarians with establishing or expanding practices for the purposes of—

“(A) equipping veterinary offices;

“(B) sharing in the overhead costs of the practices; or

“(C) establishing mobile veterinary facilities at which at least a portion of the facilities will address education or extension needs.

“(3) Financial assistance for veterinary students, veterinary interns, externs, fellows, and residents, and veterinary technician students to attend training programs in food safety or food animal medicine to cover expenses other than tuition.

“(4) Programs establishing or expanding accredited veterinary education programs, veterinary residency and fellowship programs, or veterinary internship and externship programs in coordination with accredited colleges of veterinary medicine.

“(5) Programs for tele-veterinary medicine at practices that contribute to veterinary extension, education, or research.

“(6) Support the ability of the office or position of a State veterinarian or animal health official to coordinate veterinary services and food protection issues described in paragraphs (1) through (5).

“(7) Assessments of veterinarian shortage situations and preparation of applications for designation as a shortage situation.

“(8) Programs in continuing education and extension (including distance-based education) for veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and other health professionals needed to strengthen veterinary programs and enhance food safety.

“(9) Faculty recruitment and retention programs at accredited colleges of veterinary medicine.

“(10) Programs, in coordination with universities or local educational agencies, to encourage students in secondary schools to pursue a career in veterinary medicine or science professions.

“(f) Prohibition on use of grant funds for construction.—Funds made available for grants under this section shall not be used for the construction of a new building or facility or the acquisition, expansion, remodeling, or alteration of an existing building of facility, including site grading and improvement and architect fees.

“(g) Implementation.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall promulgate regulations to implement the grant program authorized under this section.

“(h) Authorization of appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary such sums as are necessary to carry out this section for fiscal year 2011 and each fiscal year thereafter.”.