SECOND REGULAR SESSION
HOUSE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
HOUSE BILL NO. 1078
93RD GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Reported from the Committee on Veterans February 13, 2006, with recommendation that the House Committee Substitute for House Bill No. 1078 Do Pass. Referred to the Committee on Rules pursuant to Rule 25(26)(f).
STEPHEN S. DAVIS, Chief Clerk
To amend chapter 173, RSMo, by adding thereto one new section relating to tuition grants for dependents and spouses of military members.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:
Section A. Chapter 173, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 173.234, to read as follows:
173.234. 1. As used in this section, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the following terms shall mean:
(1) "Board", the coordinating board for higher education;
(2) "Eligible student", the natural, adopted, or stepchild of a qualifying military member, who is less than twenty-five years of age and who was a dependent of a qualifying military member at the time of death or injury, or the spouse of a qualifying member who is less than forty-five years of age;
(3) "Grant", the military member survivor grant as established by this section;
(4) "Qualifying institution", any approved Missouri public or private institution of postsecondary education as defined in section 173.205;
(5) "Qualifying military member", any member of the military of the United States, whether active duty, reserve, or national guard, who served in the military after September 11, 2001, during a time of war and for whom the following criteria apply:
(a) The veteran was a Missouri resident when first entering the military service and at the time of death; and
(b) The veteran died as a result of combat action or the veteran's death was certified by the Veterans Administration medical authority to be attributable to an illness or accident that occurred while serving in combat, or who became eighty percent disabled as a result of injuries or accidents sustained in combat action after September 11, 2001, and who was at the time of death or injury a citizen of the state of Missouri;
(6) "Tuition", any tuition or incidental fee or both charged by a qualifying institution for attendance at the institution by an eligible student. The tuition grant shall not exceed the amount of tuition charged a Missouri resident at the University of Missouri-Columbia for attendance.
2. Within the limits of the amounts appropriated therefor, the coordinating board for higher education shall award annually up to twenty-five grants to survivors of war veterans to attend institutions of postsecondary education in this state, which shall continue to be awarded annually to eligible recipients as long as certain standards of academic performance, as determined by the coordinating board for higher education, continue to be achieved. If the waiting list of eligible survivors exceeds fifty, the coordinating board may request the general assembly to increase the limitation on the number of grants authorized under this section. If the limitation on the number of grants under this section is not increased, the eligibility of survivors on the waiting list shall be extended.
3. An eligible student may receive a grant under this section only so long as the eligible student is enrolled in a program leading to a certificate, or an associate or baccalaureate degree in a qualifying institution. In no event shall the eligible student receive a grant beyond the completion of the first baccalaureate degree. No eligible student shall receive more than one hundred percent of tuition when combined with similar funds made available to such eligible student.
4. The coordinating board for higher education shall:
(1) Promulgate all necessary rules for the implementation of this section;
(2) Determine minimum standards of performance for a student to remain eligible to receive a grant under this program;
(3) Make available on behalf of the eligible student an amount toward the eligible student's tuition which is equal to the grant to which the eligible student is entitled under the provisions of this section;
(4) Provide the forms and determine the procedures necessary for an eligible student to apply for and receive a grant under this program.
5. An eligible student who is enrolled or has been accepted for enrollment at a qualifying institution shall receive a tuition grant in an amount not to exceed the actual tuition charged at the qualifying institution where the eligible student is enrolled or accepted for enrollment. In addition, such student shall receive an allowance of two thousand dollars per semester for room and board, and an allowance for the actual cost of books, up to five hundred dollars per semester.
6. An eligible student who is a recipient of a grant may transfer from one qualifying institution to another without losing his or her entitlement under this section. The board shall make necessary adjustments in the amount of the grant. If a grant recipient at anytime withdraws from a qualifying institution so that under the rules of such institution the eligible student is entitled to a refund of any tuition, fees, or other charges, the qualifying institution shall pay the portion of the refund to which the student is entitled attributable to the grant for that semester or similar grading period to the board.
7. If an eligible student is granted financial assistance under any other student aid program, public or private, the full amount of such aid shall be reported to the board by the qualifying institution and the eligible student.
8. Nothing in this section shall be construed as a promise or guarantee that a person will be admitted to a qualifying institution or to a particular qualifying institution, will be allowed to continue to attend a qualifying institution after having been admitted, or will be graduated from a qualifying institution.
9. Pursuant to section 23.253, RSMo, of the Missouri Sunset Act:
(1) The provisions of the new program authorized under this section shall automatically sunset six years after the effective date of this section, unless reauthorized by an act of the general assembly; and
(2) If such program is reauthorized, the program authorized under this section shall automatically sunset twelve years after the effective date of the reauthorization of this section; and
(3) This section shall terminate on September first of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the program authorized under this section is sunset.