SB 640 in Hands of Governor, Does Not Provide Additional Funds for Nursing Education
SB 640 was passed by the House (116-84) with amendments on Oct. 23. It was signed in the Senate on Oct. 23, the House on Oct. 24 and was put in the hands of the Governor on Oct. 24. The last day for action by the Governor is Nov. 3, 2001. In its
amended state the bill speaks very little to improving the nursing shortage. It approves a statute for the $3 of the Tobacco Settlement monies that have been turned into the Nursing Loan Forgiveness Program which is being administered by PHEAA and is a one time allocation of funds. The bill does not appropriate any additional funds for nursing loan forgiveness or scholarships and clarifies that to be eligible for the program nurses must agree to work in clinical nursing in PA for three consecutive
years. It is doubtful that other nursing loan or scholarship bills will be passed this year. PSNA is disappointed in the final outcome of this legislation.