[r20] Rep. Dermody amends bill in order to protect Hoosier veterans and their children (4/8/2011)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Start Date: 4/8/2011 All Day
End Date: 4/8/2011

Rep. Dermody amends bill in order to protect Hoosier veterans and their children

STATEHOUSE - State Rep. Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte) has amended a Senate Bill he is sponsoring in the House that deals with financial assistance for higher education for children of Hoosier veterans.

After be approved in the Senate, Senate Bill 577 was heard in the House Committee on Education on Monday, where it was heavily amended by Rep. Dermody after discussion with many Hoosier veterans.

The amendments in committee removed various provisions in the bill including all mention of reducing financial aid for children of disabled Hoosier veterans. The bill instead tweaks eligibility for the scholarship by requiring that the child's parents are Indiana residents and that the scholarship must be used before the child turns 32 years old. Additionally, any federal aid the child may receive must be used first and the scholarship will cover any remaining education costs.

"I have the utmost respect for our Hoosiers that have put their lives and well-being on the line in service to our nation and to our state," said Rep. Dermody, "and the last thing I want to do is to cut benefits to them or to their children.

"While it is important to reform financial aid entitlements in these difficult economic times, it should not be at the expense of our Hoosier veterans and their children. Instead, we need to look at other financial aid programs, such as the 21st Century Scholars program designed to help out lower-income families which has 30 percent of its aid awarded going to families with no real financial need."

SB 577 now goes to the House floor for further discussion after being unanimously approved in the House Education Committee.