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Introduced Version House Bill 2335 History

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hb2335 intr
H. B. 2335


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

[By Request of the Executive]

[Introduced February 11, 2009; referred to the

Committee on Education then Finance.]




A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §18B-10-7c, relating to the federal "Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program"; requiring state institutions of higher education to participate in the program; and 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.

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 section, designated §18B-10-7c, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 10. FEES AND OTHER MONEY COLLECTED AT STATE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION.
§18B-10-7c. Tuition and fee waivers for certain veterans receiving federal educational assistance benefits.
(a)
The Legislature hereby finds that the United States Congress, in enacting the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 ("the Act"), 38 U.S.C. §3301, et seq., has provided for the establishment of a program within the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to be known as the "Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program". 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 in-state tuition and fees charged by a state institution of higher education in the state. The Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program will provide additional educational assistance benefits over and above the cost of the undergraduate in-state tuition and fees to veterans receiving benefits under the Act. The purpose of this section is to require higher education institutions, as defined in section two, article one, chapter eighteen-b of this code, to participate in the program and encourage private colleges and universities located in the state to participate.
(b) 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 Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program as established in 38 U.S.C. §3317. For every eligible veteran who is enrolled or will be enrolled as an undergraduate student, the agreement shall provide for the waiver of fifty percent of the cost of tuition and mandatory fees not otherwise covered under 38 U.S.C. §3313(c)(1)(A) in an amount to be matched by a contribution of equivalent value from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The agreement may also provide for the waiver of up to fifty percent of the cost of tuition and mandatory fees not otherwise covered under 38 U.S.C. §3313(c)(1)(A) for every eligible veteran who is or will be enrolled in a graduate or professional program. For the purposes of this section, "eligible veteran" means any individual who is eligible to participate in the Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program.
(c) 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 waivers granted from a state institution of higher education in connection with the Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program shall not be counted toward the amount of undergraduate, graduate or professional fee waivers permitted at that institution.
(d) The Legislature hereby encourages every private institution of higher education located in the state to participate in the Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program as permitted by the Act, 38 U.S.C. §3317.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require West Virginia public colleges and universities to participate in the federal Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program ("the Program"). The Program will be established pursuant to the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 ("the Act") to provide eligible post-9/11 veterans additional moneys towards the cost of tuition and fees at institutions of higher education. The Act will provide educational benefits to certain post-9/11 veterans in an amount equal to the cost of in-state tuition at the most expensive public university or college in the state. The Program will authorize the federal Secretary of Veterans Affairs to cover fifty percent of any additional costs over and above the cost of in-state tuition in exchange for a matching contribution of equal percentage from an institution of higher learning.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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