Taylor: Bill protects scholarships

Published 8:32 pm Friday, February 21, 2014

A proposal passed this week by the Alabama Senate would protect a scholarship program designed to help immediate family members of veterans.
Current law has been interpreted to provide scholarship benefits only to veterans whose service was during “wartime or extra hazardous conditions.”
Senate Bill 85 was sponsored by Senator Bryan Taylor, a veteran of the United States Army.
Taylor said that, in the past, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs has provided benefits to dependents of any veteran based on any service. However, in January 2011, the DVA began providing benefits only to dependents of veterans who served during certain designated conflict.
Senate Bill 85 would delete the requirement that the service of the veteran had to have been during wartime or extra hazardous conditions. The bill would also provide that the application of the change would be applied retroactively to January 2011. Taylor said the legislation is necessary because many veterans and their families have been counting on these scholarship benefits.
“When joining the Armed Forces, our veterans don’t get to choose whether or not they see wartime action during their tenure,” Taylor said. “The original intent of this program is to benefit all veterans, regardless of when they served, as an appreciate for their service and sacrifice to our great nation.”
Taylor expressed appreciation to his colleague, Senator Bill Holtzclaw, for his help in passing the bill. Holtzclaw is the senator for the Alabama 2nd District representing Limestone and Madison counties in North Alabama. Senate Bill 85 was introduced on Jan. 14, 2014 and passed the Senate on Feb. 20, 2014.

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