Rehberg Backs Monumental G.I. Bill
Fights for Expanded Educational Benefits for Montana Veterans
Montana's Congressman, Denny Rehberg, today announced his support of a new G.I. bill that would vastly expand educational benefits for post-9/11 armed service members.
"The men and women who have defended our country in the wake of 9/11 have earned this," said Rehberg, a member of the House Appropriations Committee. "Increased educational benefits will ensure America's veterans have full access to the knowledge needed to go into the career of their choice. This legislation is long overdue."
The original Montgomery G.I. Bill was designed to help World War II veterans receive educational benefits upon their return home from war. Though the bill has been modified many times over the past sixty years, it needs to be updated for the post-9/11 era.
The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act would make increased educational benefits available to all members of the military who have served at least three months of active duty since September 11, 2001 as well as provide, for the first time, these benefits to members of the Reserves and National Guard who currently make up a greater percentage of America's Armed Forces than they have in the past.
"This bill is about providing veterans with a smooth transition from active duty to civilian life," said Rehberg. "And we've got a strong, bipartisan group of House members who will help move this legislation forward."
What the bill would do for veterans in the state of Montana?
· Tuition Vouchers: Upfront tuition payments to any private/public university capped at the most expensive in-state public school tuition. Currently, Montana Tech has the highest tuition at $13,610 a year.
· Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program: Colleges providing veteran specific scholarships for tuition above $13,610 a year will be matched dollar for dollar by the new G.I. Bill.
· Living Stipend: Monthly stipend payments based on the local cost of living. The average monthly living stipend in Montana will be $888.
· Books Allowance: $1,000/year for books and supplies
· Extends Usage Time Period: Allows up to 15 years to use benefits (up from 10 yrs)