The state House has approved a bill sponsored by Rep. Justin Everett, R-South Jeffco, to give spouses and children of military personnel stationed in Colorado in-state tuition.
It’s the first bill by the first-term legislator to win House approval.
Everett said that during his campaign, he was approached by a serviceman stationed in Colorado Springs. The man had just been transferred from Georgia, but his wife and daughter stayed behind because his daughter wouldn’t have qualified for in-state tuition here.
“That’s one of those weird paradoxes with our military servicemen,” Everett said.
Colorado had previously granted military personnel in-state tuition if they were stationed in Colorado. Everett said HB 1194 simply extends that to their families.
“These are the people that protect out country and make sure our rights are protected,” Everett said. “We want to make sure they have the same opportunity as other citizens.”
If the bill wins Senate approval, which Everett said seems likely, it will give spouses and children of military personnel who have been transferred to Colorado in-state tuition immediately. They would be eligible for the in-state rate no matter if the serviceman or woman leaves the service or if they are transferred to another state.
The bill would also allow the spouses and children of military personnel to participate in the Western Regional Graduate Program and the Western Undergraduate Exchange. Both offer Colorado residents in-state tuition when attending an out-of-state school in one of 15 participating states if the degree being sought is not offered in Colorado.
The bill passed the House on a 64-0 vote, Everett said, and stands as proof that legislators support our troops.
“Our job down here is to draft good public policy and help people where we can,” Everett said.
Contact Ramsey Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-933-2233, ext. 22 and follow him on Twitter @RamseyColumbine.