PA 08-71—SB 48

Select Committee on Veterans' Affairs

Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee

Appropriations Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING TUITION WAIVER BENEFIT FOR CHILDREN AND SURVIVING SPOUSES OF ARMED FORCES MEMBERS KILLED IN ACTION

SUMMARY: This act requires UConn, the Connecticut State University (CSU) system, and the regional community-technical colleges (CTC) to waive tuition for any Connecticut resident who is a dependent child or surviving spouse of a state resident killed in action while performing active military duty in the U. S. Armed Forces on or after September 11, 2001. Currently, the schools must waive tuition for eight other classes of students.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2008

BACKGROUND

Tuition Waivers at UCONN, CSU, and CTC

Currently, these schools must waive tuition for:

1. dependent children of post-1959 missing-in-action or prisoner-of-war veterans;

2. wartime and certain combat or combat-support role veterans;

3. residents age 62 or older, under prescribed circumstances;

4. Connecticut State Police Academy students enrolled in academy law enforcement programs offered in coordination with the school;

5. active Connecticut National Guard members certified by the adjutant general to be in good standing (undergraduate program only);

6. dependent children of police officers, supernumeraries, auxiliary police officers, paid or volunteer firefighters, and municipal or state employees killed in the line of duty;

7. state residents who are dependent children or surviving spouses of specified terrorist victims who were state residents; and

8. dependent children of state residents killed in the July 29, 2005 Avon road multivehicle crash.

Attorney General's Opinion on Residency and Veterans' Benefits

In a 1991 opinion, the attorney general said that requiring residency for veterans' tuition waiver was unconstitutional. The statute at the time required the college boards to waive tuition for wartime veterans provided they were state residents when they entered the service, while serving, and when accepted for admission to the school.

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