Wednesday, April 9, 2008

House Committee Kills Bill Giving Free Tuition to Purple Heart Recipients

The House Appropriations Committee killed Wednesday morning a bill that would have given Armed Forces veterans who received the Purple Heart or a higher-ranked medal in combat since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks free college tuition.

The decision by the committee came after a fierce lobbying barrage against the measure by higher education advocates, despite efforts by sponsor Rep. Rafael Lorenzo Gallegos, D-Antonito, to find ways to reduce the financial impact to the state's universities.

Gallegos offered to amend the measure to cap recipients, for the first year of the program, at 25, with five from each institution covered.

HB 1068 had been approved by the House State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee in February.