Today, U.S. Congressman John B. Larson voted in favor of the Post- 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act, which will further strengthen the New GI Bill to help our veterans now and in the future. This bill will expand veterans' educational benefits to support apprenticeships and on-the-job training programs as well as to pay for national tests, licensure and certification tests.
"We owe a great deal of gratitude to our returning veterans for their commitment and service to our nation. The Post -9/11 G.I. Bill has assisted members of our military and their families as they continue down a path of success. This legislation will improve upon the current G.I. Bill while maintaining the values of the original G.I. Bill, by enhancing the uses of educational benefits to support apprentice and on-the-job training programs," said Congressman Larson. "I am proud that this measure was overwhelmingly supported by my colleagues and I will continue my efforts locally to ensure that our service members and their families are aware of the available benefits provided in this critical legislation."
The legislation passed today streamlines the New GI Bill and makes it more equitable by:
· Expanding opportunities for training and education, covering vocational and technical schools, apprenticeships and on the job training that were not previously covered.
· Giving active duty students a book stipend of $1,000 per year, like veterans under the program.
· Providing living allowances for distance learners, like injured veterans who rely on taking online classes.
· Simplifying the Yellow Ribbon Program for veterans attending private colleges and universities and taking graduate courses, eliminating the confusing state cap system, and setting a $17,500 per year cap for tuition and fees.
· Granting full credit to National Guardsmen, including those called up to respond to national disasters like Hurricane Katrina or the BP oil spill, making more than 130,000 eligible for this education benefit.
After passing the Senate earlier this week and the House today by a vote of 409 to 3, the legislation now goes to President Obama for his signature into law.
Last year, Congressman Larson hosted informational workshops to provide Post-9/11 veterans and their families information about the educational benefits available from the G.I. Bill.