Texas Legislature - Education
2:31 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Van De Putte Helping Streamline G.I. Bill Assistance For Veterans

The Texas Senate has passed a bill that will help veterans more easily access their education funds under the G.I. Bill.

SB 1158, The Hazelwood Act, was designed to ensure veterans and their children that they would be exempt from specific tuition and fees at public institutions of higher learning in the State of Texas.

State Sen. Leticia Van De Putte said that the Higher Educating Coordinating Board has done a good job of managing the funds for Ph.D. programs.

"But because of the complexities of the federal G.I. Bill, most of the time they refer the students calling to the Veterans Commission, and the Veterans Commission is the only state agency that has status to intervene to bring down those federal dollars under the G.I. Act," she said.

Van De Putte said the bill would increase efficiencies by moving the Hazelwood Program to the Veterans Commission so the veterans have quicker, easier access to their funds when they need them.

The bill also has a counseling component, and the provision to designate certain schools as veteran-friendly schools.

The Hazelwood Bill now goes to the House for its vote.