Capitol Alert

The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

All veterans could get California in-state tuition under federal change, Chávez bill

08/07/2014 3:56 PM

08/26/2014 8:41 AM

Veterans from across the country could pay California prices for college under newly amended Assembly legislation that would conform state law to a federal change in tuition rules.

Legislation signed by President Obama on Thursday requires all public universities to grant in-state tuition to recipients of G.I. Bill benefits. That law, passed during World War II and updated multiple times since, has been a ticket to a diploma for generations of veterans.

Schools that don’t comply with the new change would lose federal funding. To avoid that scenario, Assemblyman Rocky Chávez, R-Oceanside, has revived and amended legislation requiring the sprawling California higher education system to grant veterans in-state tuition.

“It was always our belief that this was a way to attract the best and the brightest to our community,” said Chávez, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Assembly Bill 13 would cover the University of California, California State University and California Community College schools. The latest version of AB 13 is more comprehensive than last year’s stalled bill, which would have been voluntary and only applied to students’ first year.

Lending the new bill urgency, Chávez said, is that the federal law withholds Title 38 funds from schools that don’t apply. That’s the vessel for allocating G.I. Bill money, including to the thousands of veterans currently enrolled in California schools.

“Imagine: over 50,000 veterans can find themselves in a position where they went to war, served and might not be able to get their education unless we pass this,” Chávez said.

Representatives for the UC and CSU systems said they’re studying the consequences of the federal law, including whether adapting will require legislation.

“We’re reviewing the provision to interpret the new law, and we’ll obviously do our best to comply with it,” said Michael Uhlenkamp, a spokesman for the CSU chancellor’s office.

Capitol Alert staff

Amy Chance
Political editor
achance@sacbee.com
@Amy_Chance

Dan Smith
Capitol bureau chief
smith@sacbee.com
@DanielSnowSmith

Jim Miller
California policy and politics
Capitol Alert editor
jmiller@sacbee.com
@jimmiller2

David Siders
Brown administration
dsiders@sacbee.com
@davidsiders

Christopher Cadelago
California politics and health care
ccadelago@sacbee.com
@ccadelago

Jeremy B. White
Legislature
jwhite@sacbee.com
@capitolalert

Alexei Koseff
Insider Edition editor
akoseff@sacbee.com
@akoseff

 

Join the Discussion

The Sacramento Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service