Ed benefits approved for families of Guard members

A bipartisan bill signed Saturday by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will lower the cost of higher education for spouses and children of Michigan National Guard members.

House Bill 4199 expands eligibility for tuition assistance to National Guard members’ family members and increases the funding cap from $10 million to $15 million.

Whitmer was joined in Detroit on Armed Forces Day by Guard members, their families, and state lawmakers to sign the Michigan National Guard state tuition assistance program legislation.

“I am proud that we can work across the aisle to support our service members and their families, who put their lives on the line to keep us safe and stand tall for our values and freedoms,” the governor said. “As Michiganders, we will have their backs.”

Since the program’s inception, over 6,000 guard members have benefited from tuition assistance and now thousands of eligible spouses and dependents will have the same opportunity to earn a tuition-free degree or professional certificate, said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul D. Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

“Today’s announcement by Gov. Whitmer signals Michigan is serious about supporting military families who have made significant sacrifices on behalf of our state and nation,” Rogers said.

The Michigan National Guard Tuition Assistance Program provides financial assistance for service members attending any public or private college, university, vocational school, technical school, or trade school located in Michigan.

“The program offers members of the guard tuition assistance, so they can pursue higher education or skills training at a lower cost. But we know that next to every member of the Guard is a family: an invaluable support system that makes countless sacrifices,” Whitmer said.

The bill was introduced by state Rep. Jennifer Conlin, D-Ann Arbor, who said the law will fulfill multiple purposes.

“With the signing of HB 4199 into law, National Guard families in Michigan will have the flexibility to use the educational benefits that they have earned,” she said. “The law will fulfill a dual purpose: directly providing opportunities to service member spouses and dependents and tackling the challenge of recruitment and retention head-on through the offering of this incentive.”

The bill was passed by a vote of 102 to 6 in the House and 37 to 0 in the Senate.

We join in applauding the program’s expansion.


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