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Summary: Under current law, the State Medical Education Board (SMEB) exists with the purpose to administer the funds awarded to medical students in the form of loans, grants, or scholarships to attend a medical school for a maximum of four years through the State Medical Education Fund (SMEF). The intention is to financially support medical students who would serve an underserved population within rural areas. According to the HB 1061 Bill Analysis, "No new loans have been made by the board in more than 25 years, and the board currently has no appointees and receives no program funding." HJR 79 is a constitutional amendment, seeking to allow voters to decide on the following verbiage during the November 2013 general election: "The constitutional amendment eliminating an obsolete requirement for a State Medical Education Board and a State Medical Education Fund, neither of which is operational."
Analysis: The State Medical Education Board is defunct and no longer longer serves a purpose. HJR 79 reduces the scope of government and places decision making at the lowest level possible by allowing Texans to vote on removing an obsolete government program. We recommend that legislators vote to approve HJR 79.