S 1053

1st Session

S. 1053

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.


May 24, 2011

Ms. STABENOW (for herself, Mr. COCHRAN, Mr. AKAKA, Mr. BENNET, Mr. BLUNT, Mr. BROWN of Ohio, Mr. CHAMBLISS, Mr. CONRAD, Mr. FRANKEN, Mrs. GILLIBRAND, Mr. JOHNSON of South Dakota, Ms. KLOBUCHAR, Ms. LANDRIEU, Mr. UDALL of Colorado, and Mr. LEAHY) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry


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,


    This Act may be cited as the `Veterinary Services Investment Act'.


    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:


    `(a) Definitions- In this section:

      `(1) QUALIFIED ENTITY- The term `qualified entity' means--

        `(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 343(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1991(a)); and

          `(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 accredited by the Department of Education;

        `(F) a State agricultural experiment station; and

        `(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 that carry out programs or activities described in paragraph (2) for the purpose of developing, implementing, and sustaining veterinary services.

      `(2) ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS- To be eligible to receive a grant described paragraph (1), a qualified entity shall carry out programs or activities that the Secretary determines will--

        `(A) substantially relieve veterinarian shortage situations;

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

        `(C) support or facilitate the practices of veterinarians who are participating in or have successfully completed a service requirement under section 1415A(a)(2).

    `(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, as determined by the Secretary; and

        `(B) seek the input of interested persons.

      `(2) GRANT PREFERENCES- In selecting recipients of grants to be used for any of the purposes described in paragraphs (2) through (6) of subsection (d), the Secretary shall give a preference to qualified entities that provide documentation of coordination with other qualified entities, with respect to any such purpose.

      `(3) ADDITIONAL PREFERENCES- In awarding grants under this section, the Secretary may develop additional preferences by taking into account the amount of funds available for grants and the purposes for which the grant funds will be used.

      `(4) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER PROVISIONS- Sections 1413B, 1462(a), 1469(a)(3), 1469(c), and 1470 apply to the administration of the grant program under this section.

    `(d) Use of Grants To Relieve Veterinarian Shortage Situations and Support Veterinary Services- A qualified entity may use funds provided by grants under this section to relieve veterinarian shortage situations and support veterinary services for the following purposes:

      `(1) To assist veterinarians with establishing or expanding practices for the purpose of--

        `(A) equipping veterinary offices;

        `(B) sharing in the reasonable overhead costs of the practices, as determined by the Secretary; or

        `(C) establishing mobile veterinary facilities in which a portion of the facilities will address education or extension needs.

      `(2) To promote recruitment (including for programs in secondary schools), placement, and retention of veterinarians, veterinary technicians, students of veterinary medicine, and students of veterinary technology.

      `(3) To allow veterinary students, veterinary interns, externs, fellows, and residents, and veterinary technician students to cover expenses (other than the types of expenses described in 1415A(c)(5)) to attend training programs in food safety or food animal medicine.

      `(4) To establish or expand accredited veterinary education programs (including faculty recruitment and retention), veterinary residency and fellowship programs, or veterinary internship and externship programs carried out in coordination with accredited colleges of veterinary medicine.

      `(5) To assess veterinarian shortage situations and the preparation of applications submitted to the Secretary for designation as a veterinarian shortage situation under section 1415A(b).

      `(6) To provide continuing education and extension, including veterinary telemedicine and other distance-based education, for veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and other health professionals needed to strengthen veterinary programs and enhance food safety.

    `(e) Special Requirements for Certain Grants-


        `(A) IN GENERAL- Grants provided under this section for the purpose specified in subsection (d)(1) shall be subject to an agreement between the Secretary and the grant recipient that includes a required term of service for the recipient, as established by the Secretary.

        `(B) CONSIDERATIONS- In establishing a term of service under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall consider only--

          `(i) the amount of the grant awarded; and

          `(ii) the specific purpose of the grant.


        `(A) IN GENERAL- An agreement under paragraph (1) shall provide remedies for any breach of the agreement by the grant recipient, including repayment or partial repayment of the grant funds, with interest.

        `(B) WAIVER- The Secretary may grant a wavier of the repayment obligation for breach of contract if the Secretary determines that the grant recipient demonstrates extreme hardship or extreme need.

        `(C) TREATMENT OF AMOUNTS RECOVERED- Funds recovered under this paragraph shall--

          `(i) be credited to the account available to carry out this section; and

          `(ii) remain available until expended.

    `(f) Cost-Sharing Requirements-

      `(1) RECIPIENT SHARE- Subject to paragraph (2), to be eligible to receive a grant under this section, a qualified entity shall provide matching non-Federal funds, either in cash or in-kind support, in an amount equal to not less than 25 percent of the Federal funds provided by the grant.

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

    `(g) Prohibition on Use of Grant Funds for Construction- Funds made available for grants under this section may not be used--

      `(1) to construct a new building or facility; or

      `(2) to acquire, expand, remodel, or alter an existing building or facility, including site grading and improvement and architect fees.

    `(h) Regulations- Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall promulgate regulations to carry out this section.

    `(i) Authorization of Appropriations- There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this section $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2012 and each fiscal year thereafter, to remain available until expended.'.