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Thu Aug 3, 2017, 07:00 AM

New GI Bill passes Senate


http://www.militarytimes.com/education-transition/education/2017/08/02/new-gi-bill-passes-senate/

New GI Bill passes Senate

By: Natalie Gross    13 hours ago

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have unanimously passed legislation to make major changes to education benefits for military veterans. Now all thatís left is for President Trump to sign it into law. The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2017 has garnered strong bipartisan support in Congress, where lawmakers have worked to fast-track the bill to the presidentís desk. Senators passed the legislation by voice vote Wednesday, less than three weeks after the Forever GI Bill, as itís become known, was introduced in the House of Representatives.
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The new GI Bill would bring significant changes to the current law passed in 2008. Among its most popular provisions are the elimination ó for veterans who left the military in 2013 or later ó of a 15-year use-or-lose rule, as well as the expansion of benefits for reservists, Purple Heart recipients and surviving dependents. It would also restore GI Bill benefits to veterans impacted by school closures since 2015 and allocate more funds for college degree programs in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.
If the Forever GI Bill becomes law, some of the provisions would take effect Jan. 1, 2018. Others would start next August, and others ó like granting active-duty service members eligibility for the Yellow Ribbon Program ó would not apply for a few more years.
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The White House did not comment by press time on when or whether the president plans to sign the legislation.
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The updated version of the bill calls for slight reductions in the monthly housing allowances for new GI Bill enrollees to pay for the estimated $3 billion cost of the benefits expansion. The 1 percent reductions would take place over five years.
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