Oklahoma House passes tuition bills for Oklahoma National Guard
LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - A pair of bills which will grant Oklahoma National Guard members in-state status and tuition and fee assistance when attending an Oklahoma public college or university passed in the House on Thursday, April 14.
Representative Nicole Miller authored Senate Bill 1416, which would grant in-state residency status for higher-educational purposes for Guard members serving in Oklahoma. While Senate Bill 1418 would update the Oklahoma National Guard Education Assistance Act to cover both tuition and fees for state Guard members at in-state higher education institutions. This bill also would create a revolving fund to support the funding mechanisms.
“This legislation allows us a way to honor and support the men and women who serve us in our Oklahoma National Guard by providing greater access for them to attain a college education while here in our state,” Miller said.
She said SB 1418 will replace the current National Guard Tuition Waiver Program and funding will be an availability basis but would be a priority included in budget requests by both higher education and the Guard.
Miller also explained members of the Oklahoma National Guard include people from surrounding states, which is the need for the residency requirement included in SB1416.
Senator Kim David is the principal author of both bills.
“Just as they are always ready to serve our state, we want to help them by providing these educational opportunities,” David said. “These patriots have full-time jobs outside of their voluntary service in the Guard and these financial incentives will help them further their education and ultimately their career opportunities.”
The bills now pass to the governor for his consideration of signing them into law.
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