House Bill No. 17
Introduced By pavlovich
By Request of the Joint Interim Subcommittee on Veterans' Needs
A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act
Appropriating $380,000 For Fiscal Year 1998 and $760,000 For Fiscal Year 1999 To
the Department of Military Affairs To Award Scholarships AUTHORIZING THE BOARD OF REGENTS TO PROVIDE
TUITION WAIVERS Pursuant to the Montana National Guard Scholarship EDUCATION BENEFIT Program;
AMENDING SECTION 20-25-421, MCA; and providing effective dates."
WHEREAS, the Montana National Guard is recognized by the highest command levels as an outstanding military organization; and
WHEREAS, the Montana National Guard has been assigned a force structure that provides exceptional opportunity as it moves into the 21st century; and
WHEREAS, the Montana National Guard cannot and should not depend solely upon federal programs to entice Montana citizenry to join or stay in the Guard; and
WHEREAS, the state's investment
of $1.14 million in the Montana National Guard scholarship EDUCATION BENEFIT
program could provide to Montana communities approximately $2 million annually AN ECONOMIC BENEFIT that is
currently not being realized in wages and tax revenue.
STATEMENT OF INTENT
A statement of intent is necessary for this bill because [section 1] authorizes the department of military affairs to adopt
rules necessary to implement and administer a national guard
scholarship EDUCATION BENEFIT program and provides
the department with specific guidelines for the proposed rules.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
NEW SECTION. Section 1. Montana national guard
scholarship EDUCATION BENEFIT program -- rulemaking.
(1) There is a Montana national guard scholarship EDUCATION BENEFIT program from which the department may
award up to 450 national guard scholarships or enhanced scholarships for fiscal year 1998 and up to 900 national guard
scholarships or enhanced scholarships for fiscal year 1999 to RECOMMEND TUITION WAIVERS FOR qualified
Montana national guard members.
(2) A national guard
scholarship: (a) may not exceed: (i) $400 a semester or $800 a year; and (ii) a total of $3,200 over a career, with no limit as to the number of years EDUCATION BENEFIT:
(A) MUST BE USED WITHIN 10 YEARS OF THE FIRST AWARD;
(b) is available only during fall and spring semesters unless approved by an army or air education officer;
(c) must be based on a 6-year enlistment in or a qualifying reenlistment commitment to the Montana national guard;
(D) MAY BE AWARDED ONLY TO MEMBERS WHO, AT THE TIME OF THE AWARD, HOLD THE MILITARY GRADE OF:
(I) OFFICER, GRADE 1 OR 2;
(II) WARRANT OFFICER, GRADE 1 OR 2; OR
(III) ENLISTED, GRADES 1 THROUGH 7;
(E) MAY NOT BE USED FOR SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT UNDERGRADUATE DEGREES OR FOR GRADUATE DEGREES; AND
(d)(F) is exclusive of the Montgomery GI Bill Act of 1984 (10 U.S.C. 16131 through 16135), enlistment bonuses, or any
other federal incentive or entitlement.
(3) An enhanced
scholarship EDUCATION BENEFIT is a scholarship AN EDUCATION BENEFIT that is awarded in
addition to a national guard scholarship EDUCATION BENEFIT and that : (a) may not exceed: (i) $200 a semester or $400 a year; and (ii) a total of $1,600 over a career, with no limit as to the number of years; and (b) is available only to members of ASSIGNED TO PERFORM identified priority units CRITICAL SKILLS.
(4) Pursuant to Title 2, chapter 4, the adjutant general shall adopt rules necessary to implement and administer the provisions of this section, including rules that:
(a) outline the selection and qualification criteria for scholarship applicants;
(b) define the terms used in the scholarship program; and
(c) establish procedures and forms to be used by scholarship applicants.
NEW SECTION. Section 2. Appropriation. The following money is appropriated from the general fund to the
department of military affairs to award scholarships pursuant to the Montana national guard scholarship program created in
[section 1]: Fiscal year 1998 $380,000 Fiscal year 1999 $760,000
SECTION 2. SECTION 20-25-421, MCA, IS AMENDED TO READ:
"20-25-421. Charges for tuition -- waivers. The regents may:
(1) prescribe tuition rates, matriculation charges, and incidental fees for students in institutions under their jurisdiction;
(2) waive nonresident tuition for selected and approved nonresident students, not to exceed at any unit 2% of the full-time
equivalent enrollment at that unit during the preceding year; except that when necessary, tuition may be waived in excess of
2% of unit enrollment for nonresident students who enroll under provisions of any WICHE-sponsored state reciprocal
which that provide for the payment, where when required, of the student support fee by the reciprocal state;
(3) waive resident tuition for students at least 62 years of age;
(4) waive tuition and fees for:
(a) persons of one-fourth Indian blood or more who have been bona fide residents of Montana for at least 1 year prior to enrollment in the Montana university system;
(b) persons designated by the department of corrections pursuant to 52-5-112;
(c) residents of Montana who served with the armed forces of the United States in any of its wars and who were honorably discharged from military service;
(d) children of residents of Montana who served with the armed forces of the United States in any of its wars and who were killed in action or died as a result of injury, disease, or other disability incurred while in the service of the armed forces of the United States; or
(e) the spouses or children of residents of Montana who have been declared to be prisoners of war or missing in action;
(5) waive tuition charges for qualified survivors of Montana firefighters or peace officers killed in the course and scope of employment. For purposes of this subsection, a qualified survivor is a person who meets the entrance requirements at the state university or college of the person's choice and is the surviving spouse or child of any of the following who were killed in the course and scope of employment:
(a) a paid or volunteer member of a municipal or rural fire department;
(b) a law enforcement officer as defined in 7-32-201; or
(c) a full-time highway patrol officer.
(6) waive tuition, WHEN SPACE IS AVAILABLE IN THE SPECIFIC CLASS REQUESTED, for up to 5,000 credits each academic year in accordance with the national guard education benefit program provided for in [section 1]. CREDITS EARNED BY STUDENTS AWARDED TUITION WAIVERS UNDER THIS SECTION MUST BE COUNTED TOWARD THE MAXIMUM SUBSIDIZED CREDITS ALLOWED EACH RESIDENT STUDENT UNDER THE REGENTS' POLICY. CREDIT HOURS FOR WHICH TUITION IS WAIVED UNDER THIS SECTION MAY NOT BE COUNTED TOWARD MEETING THE STUDENT'S COMMITMENT TO QUALIFY FOR A 4-YEAR GRADUATION GUARANTEE."
NEW SECTION. Section 3. Codification instruction. [Section 1] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 10, chapter 1, part 1, and the provisions of Title 10, chapter 1, part 1, apply to [section 1].
NEW SECTION. Section 4. Effective dates. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), [this act] is effective July 1, 1997.
(2) [Section 1(4) and this section] are effective on passage and approval.