The Pryor Times

February 18, 2014

Mullin supports tuition fairness act


PRYOR, OK — WASHINGTON – Rep. Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) voted in favor of H.R. 357, the “G.I. Bill Tuition Fairness Act of 2013,” but said he will work to address a concern he has with the bill’s equality.

The legislation passed on a vote of 390-0.

H.R. 357 expands education opportunities to veterans by allowing them to use their G.I. Bill benefits to attend state-run higher education institutions at the in-state tuition rate for a period of up to three years after discharge.

“H.R. 357 is good piece of legislation that will address the difficulties in establishing residency that some veterans have due to the nature of military service,” said Mullin. “However, I have concerns because the in-state tuition benefit does not apply equally to all veterans, and I will be working to try and address this issue should the Senate pass similar legislation pending there.”

Certain veterans are eligible to transfer the G.I. Bill benefits they have earned to their spouse or children if they have not used them or do not intend to use them. The definition in the House legislation of those eligible for the provision does not include transferee dependents. Language in Senate legislation, S. 944, does include transferee dependents.

“I am firm in my belief that our country must honor its commitments to our veterans,” Mullin said. “This means that if veterans have earned their G.I. Bill benefits, then those benefits should apply at the same level to veterans who personally use their G.I. Bill benefits as to those who choose to transfer their benefits to their spouse or children.”