PRESS RELEASE
From the Office of State Senator Troy Fraser

For Immediate Release
March 13, 2001
Contact: William A. Scott - (512) 463-0124

Senate Approves Fraser Bill To Exempt Military From Academic Testing

AUSTIN -- The Texas Senate today approved legislation authored by Senator Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, that exempts some military personnel from the Texas Academic Skills Program (TASP).

The bill, Senate Bill 179, allows active duty military who are not seeking a degree to enroll in college courses without first taking the TASP test. Currently, the academic skills test is required of all first-time Texas college students before enrollment.

"Education is important to the military for continued personal and professional growth," Fraser said. "Allowing members of the military to take college courses unencumbered from the TASP requirements will help improve the quality of life for our soldiers."

The bill now goes to the Texas House of Representatives for its consideration.

The legislation was approved after it was an amended on the Senate floor to apply only to military personnel who are not seeking degree. The original bill, as approved last month by the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and Military Installations, would have exempted all active duty enlisted personnel from TASP testing.

"Some senators thought the original bill provided too broad of an exemption, so we had to amend it to get it passed and sent over to the House," Fraser said. "But even in its current form, I expect more military personnel at Fort Hood and Dyess Air Force Base to take advantage of the exemption and to sign up for classes without having to be tested."

Fraser's bill came as a result of recommendations made in 1999 by the Strategic Military Planning Commission's master plan that addressed issues vital to the defense community in Texas.

Fraser, during Senate floor debate on the bill, told his colleagues that Texas must work hard to show its commitment to military personnel who are stationed here, especially since Congress is considering another round of base realignments and closures.

"Texas was unprepared for the last BRAC, and we cannot let it happen again," Fraser said. "The military in Texas is too important, both from a national security and an economic standpoint, for us to be downsized again."

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