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Committee Substitute House Bill 2335 History

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COM SUB 2 LINES
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE

FOR

H. B. 2335

(By Mr. Speaker, (Mr. Thompson) and Delegate Armstead)

[By Request of the Executive]


(Originating in the Committee on Finance)


[March 10, 2009]


A BILL to amend and reenact §18B-10-7 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend said code by adding thereto a new section, designated §18B-10-7c, all relating to higher education tuition and fee waivers; tuition and fee waivers for certain military personnel; the federal "Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program"; requiring state institutions of higher education to participate in the program; requiring state institutions of higher education to enter into agreements with the United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide matching contributions toward the cost of tuition and mandatory fees not otherwise covered under the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008; and clarifying residency requirement for certain tuition and fee waivers.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18B-10-7 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that said code be further amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §18B-10-7c, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 10. FEES AND OTHER MONEY COLLECTED AT STATE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION.
§18B-10-7. Tuition and fee waivers for children and spouses of officers, firefighters, National Guard personnel, reserve personnel and active military duty personnel killed in the line of duty.

(a) Each state institution of higher education shall waive tuition and fees for any person who is the child or spouse of an individual who:
(1) Was employed or serving as:
(A) A law-enforcement officer as defined in section one, article twenty-nine, chapter thirty of this code;
(B) A correctional officer at a state penal institution;
(C) A parole officer;
(D) A probation officer;
(E) A conservation officer; or
(F) A registered firefighter; and
(2) Was killed in the line of duty while:
(A) Employed by the state or any political subdivision of the state; or
(B) A member of a volunteer fire department serving a political subdivision of this state.
(b) Each state institution of higher education shall waive tuition and fees for any person who is the child or spouse of:
(1) A National Guard member or a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States who is a resident of this state and is killed in the line of duty. The member is considered to have been killed in the line of duty if death resulted from performing a duty required by his or her orders or commander while in an official duty status, other than on federal active duty, authorized under federal or state law; or
(2) A person on federal or state active military duty who is a resident of this state and is killed in the line of duty. The person is considered to have been killed in the line of duty if death resulted from performance of a duty required by his or her orders or commander while in an official duty status.
(c) Any waiver granted pursuant to this section is subject to the following:
(1) The recipient may attend any undergraduate course if classroom space is available;
(2) The recipient has applied and been admitted to the institution;
(3) The recipient has applied for and submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid;
(4) The recipient has exhausted all other sources of student financial assistance dedicated solely to tuition and fees that exceed other grant assistance that are available to him or her, excluding student loans;
(5) Waiver renewal is contingent upon the recipient continuing to meet the academic progress standards established by the institution.
(d) The state institution of higher education may require the person to pay:
(1) Special fees, including any laboratory fees, if the fees are required of all other students taking a single course or that particular course; and
(2) Parking fees.
(e) The governing boards may promulgate rules:
(1) For determining the availability of classroom space;
(2) As it each considers necessary to implement this section; and
(3) Regarding requirements for attendance, which may not exceed the requirements for other persons students.
(f) The governing boards may extend to persons attending courses and classes under this section any rights, privileges or benefits extended to other students which it considers appropriate.
§18B-10-7c. Tuition and fee waivers for certain veterans receiving federal educational assistance benefits.
(a)
The Legislature finds that:
(1) The United States Congress, in enacting the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, 38 U.S.C. §3301,
et seq., has established a program within the United States Department of Veterans Affairs known as the "Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program";
(2) Under the Act, certain individuals who served or are serving on active duty in the United States Armed Forces after September 11, 2001, are eligible to receive educational assistance benefits equal to the cost of undergraduate resident tuition and mandatory fees charged by a state institution of higher education; and
(3) The Program provides additional educational assistance benefits above the cost of undergraduate resident tuition and mandatory fees to veterans receiving benefits under the Act.
(b) The purpose of this section is to require state institutions of higher education to participate in the Program and encourage private institutions of higher education located in the state to participate.
(c) As soon as practicable after the effective date of this section, the governing board of each state institution of higher education shall enter into an agreement with the United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs to participate in the Program. For every eligible veteran who is enrolled or will be enrolled as an undergraduate student, the agreement shall provide for a waiver of the cost of tuition and mandatory fees not otherwise covered under 38 U.S.C. §3313(c)(1)(A) at a percentage equal to the maximum contribution available for match by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The agreement also may provide for a waiver of the cost of tuition and mandatory fees not otherwise covered under 38 U.S.C. §3313(c)(1)(A) at a percentage equal to the maximum contribution available for match by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for every eligible veteran who is or will be enrolled in a graduate or professional program.
(d) For the purposes of the limitation on the amount of fee waivers permitted at state institutions of higher education set forth in sections five and six of this article, any waiver granted by a state institution of higher education in connection with the Program is not counted toward the amount of undergraduate, graduate or professional fee waivers permitted at that institution.
(e) The Legislature encourages every private institution of higher education located in the state to participate in the Program.
(f) For the purposes of this section:
(1) "The Act" means the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, 38 U.S.C. §3301,
et seq.;
(2) "The Program" means the Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program, 38 U.S.C. §3317; and
(3) "Eligible veteran" means any individual who is eligible to participate in the Program.
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