Van de Putte Proposes Veteran Higher Education Legislation
(Austin) — In advance of today's Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee hearing on Hazlewood Act benefits, Senator Leticia Van de Putte (District 26, Bexar County) filed two bills yesterday, March 5, making revisions to Hazlewood, one substantial and the other making clarifications.
Senate Bill 1158, the Texas Veteran Education Assistance Act, has three main highlights:
- It transfers administration of Hazlewood Act benefits from the Higher Education Coordinating Board to the Texas Veterans Commission,
- creates veteran college resource counselors,
- and establishes an award recognizing universities and colleges for Veteran Education Excellence.
The second bill, SB 1159, makes a number of clarifications to Hazlewood based on the recommendations of the Higher Education Coordinating Board. Most notably, it clarifies that the age-25 cap for receipt of Hazelwood Legacy benefits does not apply to spouses or children of service members who were killed in action or to spouses or children of veterans who are 100% disabled.
"These bills continue Texas' commitment to veterans and their families by making sure that the higher education benefits they have earned get fully utilized," Senator Van de Putte said. "Nobody understands the needs of veterans better than other veterans, and the Texas Veterans Commission has an established history of meeting those needs. Veterans and their families daily use TVC as a valuable resource, and it makes sense to turn there for veteran education assistance as well."