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Veterans’ Tuition Bill Passes House

The House version of the bill adds language instituting a tuition freeze for combat veterans.

House floor

Photo: Dan Goldblatt/WFIU News

The bill now moves from the House, back to the Senate.

House lawmakers passed legislation Thursday aimed at helping combat veterans prepare for the costs of college.

The bill approved Thursday, which has already passed the Senate, originally gave in-state tuition at public colleges and universities to all military veterans, even those who were not Indiana residents.

The House added language instituting a tuition freeze for combat veterans, meaning the cost of a veteran’s first year of college would be locked in for all four years.

Vincennes Democratic Representative Kreg Battles, who offered the amendment, says he wants to help veterans plan for college costs, especially when many scholarship programs are being hindered by cuts in the federal sequester.

“I think it becomes even more important that, especially those who have given so much, that we give them some consistency in what it’s going to cost them, at least the potential cost of a college education, as they come back,” he says.

The bill now heads back to the Senate. Its author, Columbia City Republican Senator Jim Banks, says he will have to look closer at the fiscal impact of the altered bill before agreeing to it, though he applauds Battles’ addition.

Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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