Tuition for Children of Veterans
MIRS, November 10, 2005
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today highlighted proposed legislation that gives the children
of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan or children of police
officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty free
Children of veterans disabled in the last two wars would receive
a significant discount on their tuition. Children of veterans
for Iraq and Afghanistan would get $2,500 off their tuition.
House Minority Leader Dianne BYRUM (D-Onondaga), flanked by six
of her Democratic colleagues, announced the four-bill package
this morning, the last session day before Veterans Day.
"At a time when our soldiers and first responders are being
called to go above and beyond the call of duty in service to our
country, we must do everything we can to show our gratitude and
to honor their sacrifices," Byrum said. "This legislation is the
least we can do for those who risk their lives to serve others."
Interestingly, the House Republicans saw through passage of a
separate bill, HB 4001, which would give children of deceased or
disabled veterans an annual $2,800 tuition credit. That bill,
sponsored by Rep. Bill CAUL (R-Big Rapids), transfers the
tuition program from the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund to the
Michigan Higher Education Assistance Authority.
The House also approved Caul's HB 5091, which creates a $2
check-off and ensures that all donated funds go into the state's
Children of Veterans' Tuition Program.
Other lawmakers present at today's press conference were fellow
sponsors Rep. Aldo VAGNOZZI (D-Farmington Hills), Rep. Mike SAK
(D-Grand Rapids) and Rep. John ESPINOZA (D-Croswell). Rep. Frank
ACCAVITTI (D-Eastpointe), Rep. Gino POLIDORI (D-Dearborn) and
Rep. Alexander LIPSEY (D-Kalamazoo) also showed their support
for the package.
Espinoza, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, said losing a loved
one to war or seeing a loved one injured for life is devastating
for military families. It's important for the state to ease the
financial hardship that comes with such a loss.
"This proposal will give children of those who die or are
injured serving our country an opportunity to build a brighter
future," he said.
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