By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Senator Steve Knight (R-Antelope Valley) introduced legislation this year to make it easier for recently discharged veterans to continue their higher education goals. That measure passed both houses of the legislature and was signed into law today by Governor Brown.
Too often veterans are forced to put their education goals on hold because they simply cannot afford to attend a four-year college or university. Senate Bill 290 will allow a student who served as a member of the Armed Forces to be eligible for in-state tuition for up to two years following an honorable discharge Veterans face an enormous challenge upon discharge of assimilating back into civilian life. Through this measure, California will ease their financial burden by reducing veterans’ out-of-pocket costs so that they may further their education, regardless of where they have served, been stationed, or lived for the past two years.
“Members of the Armed Forces serve all citizens of the United States, not just one state. They should not be penalized for continuing their education because they settled in California,” said Senator Knight.
In August 2011, the United States Department of Veteran Affairs reduced the Government Issued (GI) Bill’s tuition funding to the rate charged for in-state tuition. Since this policy change, discharged veterans who have not established residency in the state where they attend school are responsible for paying the difference between resident and non-resident tuition fees. In California, this can add up to thousands of dollars, completely eliminating students’ ability to continue their education.
“Veterans have proven themselves to be hard working, driven, and dedicated; exactly the type of student and worker that California should be eager to attract and retain,” continued Senator Knight. “I commend the Governor for signing SB 290 into law and beginning to remove any ‘borders’ between states, as veterans serve the entire United States.”
Veterans already receive similar benefits in 19 other states. This measure will bring California in line with these states in honoring our worthy veterans. SB 290 becomes effective on January 1, 2014.