Committee: State GovernmentSponsor: Scott
Analyst: Tiffany WeaverDate: 03/14/2022


House Bill 410 as introduced could increase the administrative obligations of the Board of Optometric Scholarship Awards by an undetermined amount by requiring the Board to: (1) calculate an Optometric Shortage Index at least every two years; (2) provide an annual report, on or before the first day of December, to the various entities on the performance and accomplishments of the program; and (3) work with the Alabama Commission on Evaluation Services (ACES) to develop, track, and collect data and necessary information for the report.

Further, this bill: (1) creates the Alabama Optometric Service Program to award loans based on the in-state four-year cost of tuition and required fees at the UAB School of Optometry (approximately $28,000 current annual cost); and (2) expands the existing loan programs administered by the Board to allow qualified applicants from certain other accredited optometric school to be awarded a loan, with first priority given to students attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Optometry.

Further, this bill provides that the penalty for breach of contract shall be equal to 100% of the remaining principal amount of all loans received by the recipient. In addition, this bill requires all monies received from recipients in repayment or recovered by the board from breach of contract to be retained by the board to fund future scholarships and loans.

 Chris Pringle, Chair
State Government