§ 42-64.26-5. Administration.
(a) Application. An eligible graduate claiming an award under this chapter shall submit to the commerce corporation an application in the manner that the commerce corporation shall prescribe.
(b) Upon receipt of a proper application from an applicant who meets all of the eligibility requirements, the commerce corporation shall select applicants on a competitive basis to receive credits for up to a maximum amount for each service period of one thousand dollars ($1,000) for an associate's degree holder, four thousand dollars ($4,000) for a bachelor's degree holder, and six thousand dollars ($6,000) for a graduate or post-graduate degree holder, but not to exceed the education loan repayment expenses incurred by such taxpayer during each service period completed, for up to four (4) consecutive service periods provided that the taxpayer continues to meet the eligibility requirements throughout the eligibility period. The commerce corporation shall delegate the selection of the applicants that are to receive awards to a fellowship committee to be convened by the commerce corporation and promulgate the selection procedures the fellowship committee will use, which procedures shall require that the committee's consideration of applications be conducted on a name-blind and employer-blind basis and that the applications and other supporting documents received or reviewed by the fellowship committee shall be redacted of the applicant's name, street address, and other personally-identifying information as well as the applicant's employer's name, street address, and other employer-identifying information. The commerce corporation shall determine the composition of the fellowship committee and the selection procedures it will use in consultation with the state's chambers of commerce.
(c) The credits awarded under this chapter shall not exceed one hundred percent (100%) of the education loan repayment expenses incurred by such taxpayer during each service period completed for up to four (4) consecutive service periods. Tax credits shall be issued annually to the taxpayer upon proof that (i) the taxpayer has actually incurred and paid such education loan repayment expenses; (ii) the taxpayer continues to meet the eligibility requirements throughout the service period; (iii) The award shall not exceed the original loan amount plus any capitalized interest less award previously claimed under this section; and (iv) that the taxpayer claiming an award is current on his or her student loan repayment obligations.
(d) The commerce corporation shall not commit to overall awards in excess of the amount contained in the fund.
(e) The commerce corporation shall reserve seventy percent (70%) of the awards issued in a calendar year to applicants who are permanent residents of the state of Rhode Island or who attended an institution of higher education located in Rhode Island when they incurred the education loan expenses to be repaid.
(f) In administering award, the commerce corporation shall:
(1) Require suitable proof that an applicant meets the eligibility requirements for award under this chapter;
(2) Determine the contents of applications and other materials to be submitted in support of an application for award under this chapter; and
(3) Collect reports and other information during the eligibility period for each award to verify that a taxpayer continues to meet the eligibility requirements for an award.
(P.L. 2015, ch. 141, art. 19, § 9.)