President Obama late yesterday signed two provisions authored by Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet into law as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. The bill includes Bennet's measures to reform export restrictions on certain satellites and components not deemed highly sensitive and to expand the successful Troops to Teachers program.
"This new law will help Colorado's space industry become more competitive in the global market, while still protecting our national security interests," Bennet said. "It will also help us recruit more teachers and benefit service members who want to use their talents and leadership skills in the classroom. I am pleased the president signed this bill to ensure our military has the resources it needs to protect our country."
Bennet introduced a bill in May to give the Administration the discretion to transfer certain less sensitive satellites and satellite components from the more restrictive United States Munitions List to the Commerce Control List. The bill is based on recommendations from a joint Department of Defense and Department of State report on United States export controls in the satellite industry released in March.
The Troops to Teachers program, originally created in 1994, provides qualified troops with financial incentives to teach in our nation's neediest schools. Since the program was created, a majority of Troops to Teachers have been concentrated in seven states, including Colorado. As of 2009, over 12,000 Troops to Teachers participants have been hired nationally in public schools through the program.
The Troops to Teachers expansion has been a priority of Bennet's since his early days in the Senate. He first introduced the bipartisan bill with Senator John McCain (R-AZ) in 2009.