By Michael Amato, Staffer
Washington – Thursday, December 16, with the strong support of Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), Congress passed the Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act (S.3447), which strengthens and expands educational benefits for our veterans, members of the National Guard and Reserves, and military families.
“Ensuring quality benefits and support for the men and women who have served in our military continues to be one of my top priorities in Congress,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “This legislation supports our veterans, members of the Guard and Reserve, and their families by making higher-education and other training programs more accessible, ensuring they have a path toward quality, well paying jobs.”
This legislation improves the New GI Bill and supports our veterans by:
· Expanding opportunities for training and education, covering vocational and technical schools, apprenticeships and on the job training that were not previously covered;
· Providing up to $1,000 for an annual book and supply allowances to individuals enrolled in education programs that do not lead to a college degree, including apprenticeship and on-job training;
· Providing living allowances for students enrolled in distance learning programs.
· 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 for the service of members of the National Guard, including service under Title 32 orders in response to national disasters like Hurricane Katrina or providing security along the SW Border.
The bill will now be sent to the President for signature.