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Introduced Version Senate Bill 429 History

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Senate Bill No. 429

(By Senators Hall, Unger, Jenkins, Wells, Klempa and Sypolt)

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[Introduced February 4, 2011; referred to the Committee on Education; and then to the Committee on Finance.]

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A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §18-19A-1, §18-19A-2, §18-19A-3, §18-19A-4 and §18-19A-5, all relating to providing educational scholarships for the children of war veterans; defining terms; establishing types of scholarships; setting forth what is included in the scholarships; setting forth the categories of eligibility for the scholarships; providing that the West Virginia Division of Veterans’ Affairs shall administer the scholarship program; and granting the West Virginia Division of Veterans’ Affairs rule-making authority.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §18-19A-1, §18-19A-2, §18-19A-3, §18-19A-4 and §18-19A-5, all to read as follows:

ARTICLE 19A. SCHOLARSHIPS FOR CHILDREN OF WAR VETERANS.

§18-19A-1. Purpose.

    In appreciation for the service and sacrifices of West Virginia's war veterans and as evidence of this state's concern for their children, there is hereby continued a revised program of scholarships for these children as set forth in this article.

§18-19A-2. Definitions.

    As used in this article the terms defined in this section have the following meaning:

    (1) "Active federal service" means full-time duty in the Armed Forces other than active duty for training. However, if disability or death occurs while on active duty for training as a direct result of armed conflict or while engaged in extra-hazardous service, including such service under conditions simulating war, such active duty for training shall be considered as active federal service.

    (2) "Armed forces" means the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard, including their reserve components.

    (3) "Child" means a person: under twenty-five years of age at the time of application for a scholarship; who is a domiciliary of West Virginia and is a resident of West Virginia when applying for a scholarship; who has completed high school or its equivalent prior to receipt of a scholarship awarded under this article; who has complied with the requirements of the Selective Service System, if applicable; and who further meets one of the following requirements:

    (A) A person whose veteran parent was a legal resident of West Virginia at the time of the veteran's entrance into that period of service in the Armed Forces during which eligibility is established under section four of this article;

    (B) A veteran's child who was born in West Virginia and has been a resident of West Virginia continuously since birth: Provided, That the requirement in the preceding sentence as to birth in West Virginia may be waived by the West Virginia Division of Veterans’ Affairs if it is shown to the satisfaction of the division that the child's mother was a native-born resident of West Virginia and was such resident at the time of her marriage to the veteran and was outside the state temporarily at the time of the child's birth, following which the child was returned to West Virginia within a reasonable period of time where the child has since lived continuously; and

    (C) A person meeting either of the requirements set forth in paragraphs (A) or (B) of this subdivision, and who was legally adopted by the veteran prior to the person's reaching the age of fifteen years.

    (4) "Period of war" and "wartime" means any of the periods or circumstances as defined below:

    (A) World War I, meaning (i) the period beginning on April 6, 1917 and ending on November 11, 1918; and (ii) in the case of a veteran who served with the United States Armed Forces in Russia, the period beginning on April 6, 1917 and ending on April 1, 1920;

    (B) World War II, meaning the period beginning on December 7, 1941 and ending on December 31, 1946;

    (C) Korean Conflict, meaning the period beginning on June 27, 1950 and ending on January 31, 1955;

    (D) Vietnam era, meaning the period beginning on August 5, 1964, and ending on May 7, 1975;

    (E) Persian Gulf War, meaning the period beginning on August 2, 1990, and ending on the date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or concurrent resolution of the United States Congress; and

    (F) Any period of service in the Armed Forces during which the veteran parent of an applicant for a scholarship under this article suffered death or disability as a direct result of armed conflict or while engaged in extra-hazardous service, including such service under conditions simulating war.

    (5) "Private educational institution" means any junior college, senior college or university which is operated and governed by private interests not under the control of the federal, state or any local government, which is located within the State of West Virginia, which does not operate for profit, whose curriculum is primarily directed toward the awarding of associate, baccalaureate or graduate degrees.

    (6) "State educational institution" means any institution of higher education defined in section two, article one, chapter eighteen-b of this code.

    (7) "Veteran" means a person who served as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States in active federal service during a period of war and who was separated from the Armed Forces under conditions other than dishonorable. A person who was separated from the Armed Forces under conditions other than dishonorable and whose death or disability was incurred as a direct result of armed conflict or while engaged in extra-hazardous service, including such service under conditions simulating war, shall also be deemed a "veteran" and such death or disability shall be considered wartime service-connected.

§18-19A-3. Scholarship.

    (a) A scholarship granted pursuant to this article shall consist of the following benefits in either a state or private educational institution:

    (1) With respect to state educational institutions, unless expressly limited elsewhere in this article, a scholarship shall consist of:

    (A) Tuition at the state educational institution;

    (B) A standard board allowance;

    (C) A standard room allowance; and

    (D) Matriculation and other institutional fees required to be paid as a condition to remaining in the institution and pursuing the course of study selected.

    (2) With respect to private educational institutions, a scholarship shall consist of a monetary allowance as prescribed in paragraph (D), subdivision (1) of this subsection.

    (3) Only one scholarship may be granted pursuant to this article with respect to each child and it may not extend for a longer period than four academic years, which years, however, need not be consecutive.

    (4) No educational assistance may be afforded a child under this article after the end of an eight-year period beginning on the date the scholarship is first awarded. Those persons who have been granted a scholarship under this article prior to the effective date of this act are entitled to the remainder of their period of scholarship eligibility if used prior to August 1, 2015. Whenever a child is enrolled in an educational institution and the period of entitlement ends while enrolled in a term, quarter or semester, such period shall be extended to the end of such term, quarter or semester, but not beyond the entitlement limitation of four academic years.

    (5) A scholarship awarded to a student under this section may not exceed the cost of attendance at the state educational institution at which the student is enrolled. If a student, who is eligible for a scholarship under this section, also receives a scholarship or other grant covering the cost of attendance at the state educational institution for which the scholarship is awarded, then the amount of the scholarship shall be reduced by an appropriate amount determined by the state educational institution at which the student is enrolled. The scholarship shall be reduced so that the sum of all grants and scholarship aid covering the cost of attendance received by the student, including the scholarship under this section, does not exceed the cost of attendance for the state educational institution at which the student is enrolled.

    (b) If a child is awarded a scholarship under this article, the West Virginia Division of Veterans’ Affairs shall notify the recipient by May 1 of the year in which the recipient enrolls in college.

§18-19A-4. Classes of eligibility under which scholarships may be awarded.

    A child, as defined in this article, who falls within the provisions of any eligibility class described in this section shall, upon proper application, be considered for a scholarship, subject to the provisions and limitations set forth for the class under which he is considered:

    (1) Class I-A. Under this class a scholarship shall be awarded to any child whose veteran parent:

    (A) Was killed in action or died from wounds or other causes not due to his own willful misconduct while a member of the armed forces during a period of war; or

    (B) Has died of service-connected injuries, wounds, illness or other causes incurred or aggravated during wartime service in the Armed Forces, as rated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

    (2) Class I-B. Under this class a limited scholarship providing only those benefits set forth in paragraphs (A) and (D), subdivision (1), subsection (a), section three of this article and subdivision (2), subsection (a), section three of this article, shall be awarded to any child whose veteran parent, at the time the benefits pursuant to this article are sought to be availed of, is or was at the time of his death receiving compensation for a wartime service-connected disability of one hundred percent as rated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs: Provided, That if the veteran parent of a recipient under this class dies of his wartime service-connected condition before the recipient has utilized all of his scholarship eligibility time, then the West Virginia Division of Veterans’ Affairs shall amend the recipient's award from Class I-B to Class I-A for the remainder of the recipient's eligibility time. The effective date of such an amended award shall be determined by the West Virginia Division of Veterans’ Affairs, but, in no event shall it predate the date of the veteran parent's death.

    (3) Class II. Under this class a scholarship may be awarded to not more than one hundred children yearly, each of whose veteran parent, at the time the benefits pursuant to this article are sought to be availed of:

    (A) Is or was at the time of his death receiving compensation for a wartime service-connected disability of twenty percent or more, but less than one hundred percent, as rated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs; or

    (B) Was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds received as a result of an act of any opposing armed force, as a result of an international terrorist attack, or as a result of military operations while serving as part of a peacekeeping force.

    (4) Class III: Under this class a scholarship may be awarded to not more than one hundred children yearly, each of whose veteran parent, at the time the benefits pursuant to this article are sought to be availed of:

    (A) Is or was at the time of his death drawing pension for permanent and total disability, nonservice-connected, as rated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs;

    (B) Is deceased and who does not fall within the provisions of any other eligibility class described elsewhere in this section; or

    (C) Served in a combat zone, or waters adjacent to a combat zone, or any other campaign, expedition, or engagement for which the United States Department of Defense authorizes a campaign badge or medal, who does not fall within the provisions of any other class described elsewhere in this section.

    (5) Class IV. Under this class a scholarship shall be awarded to any child whose parent, while serving honorably as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States in active federal service during a period of war, as defined in section two of this article, was listed by the United States Government as missing in action, captured in line of duty by a hostile force or forcibly detained or interned in line of duty by a foreign government or power.

§18-19A-5. Administration; rule-making.

    (a) The administration of the scholarship program is vested in the West Virginia Division of Veterans’ Affairs. The division shall determine the eligibility of applicants, select the scholarship recipients, establish the effective date of scholarships, and may suspend or revoke scholarships if it is determined that the recipient does not comply with the registration requirements of the Selective Service System or does not maintain an adequate academic status. The division is authorized to propose legislative rules for legislative approval in accordance with chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement the provisions of this article.




    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide educational scholarships for the children of war veterans. The bill defines terms and establishes the types of scholarships. The bill sets forth what is included in the scholarships and the categories of eligibility for the scholarships. The bill provides that the West Virginia Division of Veterans’ Affairs shall administer the scholarship program. The bill also grants the West Virginia Division of Veterans’ Affairs with rule-making authority.



     This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.

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