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Bill benefits veteran’s education

SACRAMENTO — Assemblymember Rocky Chávez (R-Oceanside) announced Assembly Bill 13 passed out of the Senate Education Committee with five aye votes, and the chairman and one other member voting no. AB 13 would allow recently discharged, released or retired members of the armed forces to pay in-state tuition at any California Community College, California State University, or University of California, even if the student is not a current California resident.“Just 10 days after separating from the service, I had to pay $2,500 in non-residency fees,” said James Wilkerson, an Army veteran and current student at Sierra College. “The GI Bill affords thousands of opportunities for Veterans; but unfortunately, I am not one of them because I chose to attend school in California. For this reason, I am a strong supporter of AB 13.”

AB 13 would waive the residency requirement until the student obtains California residency status, typically one year. Estimates show that each veteran attending school full-time using their GI Bill, would bring a minimum of $20,000 per year of federal money to California. Nationally, 23 states currently offer similar residency waivers.

“Offering in-state tuition will provide veterans the option of attending one of our great universities where they will contribute to both our local and state economies. Without this incentive, these men and women will likely choose schools elsewhere, taking their time, talent and skills with them,” said Chávez.

AB 13 received unanimous, bipartisan through the Assembly.