Assembly Member Mary Hayashi Introduces Legislation to Improve Education Benefits for Veterans

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AB 2478 will increase veterans' eligibility for in-state tuition rates at California community colleges

"We owe it to our veterans to give them a fair opportunity to attend these institutions at in-state rates, and establish a fulfilling and productive life after-service in California." --Assembly Member Mary Hayashi

Assembly Member Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward) introduced a bill that will provide recently-discharged veterans with an extended period of time to be eligible for in-state tuition benefits at California community colleges. Co-sponsored by the Orange County Community College Legislative Task Force, AB 2478 will increase the waiver period for out-of-state tuition fees from one year to four.

“These young veterans gave so much to protect our country and to serve the people, and they deserve access to a quality, affordable education,” stated Assembly Member Mary Hayashi. “California has one of the best higher education systems in the world, with our community colleges serving as one of the greatest pathways to career success. We owe it to our veterans to give them a fair opportunity to attend these institutions at in-state rates, and establish a fulfilling and productive life after-service in California.”

Current law waives out-of-state tuition fees for one year for veterans discharged from a military facility in California. This allows a veteran to pay in-state tuition for one year from the date of their discharge, no matter their home state. One year is also the amount of time that California requires any prospective student to live in the state to establish residency and be eligible for in-state tuition rates.

However, many veterans return to their home state for a period of time to reunite with family and friends, and transition to civilian life. When these veterans subsequently move back to California, they will have lost a portion or all of their one-year in-state tuition benefit, but they are still subject to the one-year requirement of establishing residency. In the meantime, if they choose to enroll in a public university, particularly community colleges, they will have to pay out-of-state tuition, which is not fully covered by the GI Bill.

Arizona and Texas already have such pro-education benefits for veterans in place. Others, such as Kansas and North Carolina, are currently considering proposals to provide in-state tuition to anyone who has served in the military.

Assembly Member Hayashi is the Chair of the Business, Professions, and Consumer Protection Committee and serves the 18th Assembly District, which includes San Leandro, Hayward, Dublin, most of Castro Valley and Pleasanton, and a portion of Oakland, as well as the unincorporated areas of Ashland, Cherryland, San Lorenzo and Sunol.

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Ross Warren
Office of Assemblymember Mary Hayashi
(916) 319-2018
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