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A08367 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A8367
 
SPONSOR: Wallace
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to expanding eligibility under the veterans tuition awards program; and to amend the executive law, in relation to directing the division of mili- tary and naval affairs to establish and maintain a registry of state residents who are veterans of the United States military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan   PURPOSE: This bill will provide the means for all New York resident veterans of the armed services of the United States, who by virtue of that service, have earned the right, regardless of socio-economic status, to receive a college education at a New York public or private institution of higher learning and the opportunity to succeed in our global economy.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1. Amends subdivision 1 of sect on 669-a of the education law to add a new paragraph d-1 which establishes the definition of "veteran" to mean a person who (i) is a resident of the state; (ii) served in the armed forces of the United States; (iii) was a resident of the state immediately prior to his or her entry into such armed forces; and iv) received an honorable discharge from the branch of the armed forces of the United States in which he or she served. Section 2. Amends paragraph (a) of subdivision 2 of section 669-a of the education law to include veterans, as defined in paragraph d-1 of subdi- vision 1 of section 669-a of the education law, amongst those eligible to receive veterans tuition awards program. Section 3. Amends subdivision 4 of section 669-a of the education law and establishes three new paragraphs which state that the awards cannot be used to obtain an additional bachelor's degree program, graduate degree program or associate's degree program. Further, requires the school to certify that a recipient has achieved the minimum grade point average necessary for successful completion of his or her coursework to receive payment under the award. Section 4. Amends section 190 of the executive law to require the Divi- sion of Military and Naval Affairs, in consultation with the federal Department of Defense, establish and maintain a registry of state resi- dents who are honorably discharged veterans of the armed forces of the United States, and who served on regular active duty (other than for training) during part of one of the following periods: (a) from Septem- ber 18, 2001 until the end of the United States military efforts in Afghanistan; or (b) from October 16, 2002 until the end of the United States military efforts in Iraq. The information on the registry shall be deemed to be confidential, and may only be accessed by the concerned veteran for purposes of proof of his or her military service. Section 5. Establishes the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: This year in the FY 2017-2018 State Budget, New York enacted the Excels- ior Scholarship program, which expands the Tuition Assistance Program by more than $1 billion, in an effort to make college more affordable for New York State students. Absent from the adopted program are provisions which would expand eligibility to include all military veterans. These men and women have sacrificed so much to defend our freedom, and it is only fitting that they have an opportunity to further their education to better compete in the global economy .This bill would expand the eligi- bility of the newly established scholarship program to those proud men and women who serve in the Armed Forces.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.   FISCAL IMPLICATION FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: To be determined   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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