Indiana House Democratic Caucus

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House OKs Battles legislation providing tuition support to Hoosier military veterans

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For immediate release:
March 21, 2013


INDIANAPOLIS - Members of the Indiana House of Representatives today approved legislation containing language authored by State Rep. Kreg Battles (D-Vincennes) that helps Hoosier veterans who desire to pursue a higher education.

Battles’ proposal would allow veterans to go to a state-supported college or university at a fixed rate for tuition and fees over a four-year period. The amendment was included in Senate Bill 177, an omnibus higher education reform plan aimed at veterans that passed the House on a 93-0 vote.

“It is very easy to talk about demonstrating a commitment to those who have sacrificed so much for us, but I believe we need to take definitive action that shows we are willing to do more,” Battles said.

“There are many parts of this bill that make a good deal of sense to give our veterans a chance to get ahead when they return from their service, and I believe putting a four-year freeze on tuition and fees shows we are willing to back them in their pursuit of a higher education,” he continued.

Senate Bill 177 also allows combat veterans to receive in-state tuition if they choose to go to a college or university in Indiana within a year of being discharged from their service. In addition, it enables the children of disabled Hoosier veterans to attend college without paying tuition or fees.

“It is highly disturbing to me that the unemployment rate for Hoosier veterans returning from post-911 military service approaches 20 percent,” Battles noted. “If we give them the chance to get additional skills and training, we can make it easier for them to find good-paying jobs.

“That is perhaps the greatest tribute that can be paid: we are willing to take care of those who take care of us,” he concluded.

The measure now returns to the Indiana Senate for concurrence with the changes that were made in the House.

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