2013 Indiana General Assembly

Munster lawmaker: Restore tuition benefit for vets' kids

2013-03-21T19:15:00Z 2013-03-21T19:16:04Z Munster lawmaker: Restore tuition benefit for vets' kidsBy Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com

INDIANAPOLIS | State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, D-Munster, will continue fighting for legislation awarding free college tuition to the children of all disabled veterans, despite a warning by a top House Republican that her proposal is too costly.

The House on Thursday approved Senate Bill 177, restoring the free tuition benefit that was reduced by lawmakers in 2011.

Currently only a child of a totally disabled veteran is eligible for free tuition. A child of a veteran with a disability rating below 80 percent is eligible for reduced tuition.

"That change reneged on our commitment to take care of those who gave so much to take care of the rest of us," Candelaria Reardon said.

However, state Rep. Tom Dermody, R-LaPorte, said the change was made because the cost of providing free tuition was already $30 million and projected to grow to $50 million by 2031.

He said the Senate is almost certain to remove Candelaria Reardon's proposal from the legislation, which also makes veterans eligible for in-state college tuition if they move to Indiana within 12 months of discharge.

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