Reps. Loebsack and Jolly Introduce Bill to Help Veterans Attending CollegeWritten by Theresa Rose on May 27, 2015
Washington, D.C. – Congressmen Dave Loebsack (IA-02) and David Jolly (FL-13) introduced the Student Veterans Housing Support Act, legislation designed to improve housing opportunities for veterans pursuing education after serving their country. The bipartisan measure, H.R. 2465, makes improvements to the monthly housing stipend payable under the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“As a former college educator, I know firsthand the positive impact post-secondary education and job training can have for our veterans. I am proud to join with Congressman Jolly to introduce this bill that will make improvements to the monthly housing stipend under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. By allowing our veterans to use their monthly stipend in a way that is a better fit for their individual schedules, it will help vets get the education they earned after serving our nation,” Loebsack said.
“Currently, veteran students face lapses in their educational housing allowances when school is out and temporary employment to make up the difference is hard to come by on such an inconsistent basis. Veterans, particularly our combat veterans returning from war, face enough obstacles as they transition back into civilian life. For those trying to earn their degree, unstable housing allowances make it even harder,” Jolly said. “In simple terms, this bill gives veterans the financial support they need to remain in school by extending their monthly housing stipend to cover semester breaks, including the summer months and the time immediately before and after a semester. It’s a simple move that ensures veterans receive the support they deserve in return for all they have sacrificed.”
Introduction of the Student Veterans Housing Support Act was quickly applauded by those in higher education.
“I applaud Representative Loebsack for introducing legislation that makes it easier for veterans to earn a degree. While their service to our nation can never be repaid, this proposal is a step in the right direction,” said University of Iowa President Sally Mason. “The UI has consistently been recognized as one of the best schools in the nation for veterans and this change will make a UI degree even more attainable.”
“This legislation would remove roadblocks for the more than 2,100 veterans, active military members and military dependents we proudly serve at St. Petersburg College, which has consistently been rated as one of the top colleges for veterans,” said St. Petersburg College President Bill Law. “Earning a degree is life-changing event, and I commend Congressman Jolly for his efforts to assist our veterans in their educational pursuits.”
“I would like to thank Congressman Jolly for sponsoring this important piece of legislation,” added University of South Florida System President, Dr. Judy Genshaft. “At the University of South Florida, we’re proud of our standing as one of the most veteran-friendly universities in the country and being home to one of the nation’s largest student veteran populations. Military veterans deserve our support and this bill will help provide USF’s 1,500 student veterans with additional opportunities to find educational success.”
Specifically, the Student Veterans Housing Support Act would:
· Reinstate living expense stipends during school breaks and extend the interval pay to include summer periods;
· Provide a housing allowance for the month preceding the start of an educational program for veterans enrolled more than half-time; and
· Provide full monthly housing allowance for veterans only enrolled in online classes.