HCS/HB 400 - This act modifies the "Missouri Returning Heroes' Education Act".
Current law defines "combat veteran" as a person who served in armed combat in the military after September 11, 2001. Under this act, a "combat veteran" shall mean a person who served in armed combat, which shall be shown through military service documentation that reflects service in a combat theater, receipt of combat service medals, or receipt of imminent danger or hostile fire pay or tax benefits. The term "combat veteran" shall apply to a veteran who is eligible to register to vote in Missouri, or who is eligible to vote in Missouri, or who is a current Missouri resident.
All public institutions of higher education that receive state funds shall limit the amount of tuition such institutions charge to combat veterans to no more than 30% of the cost of tuition and fees. Such limitation shall only be applicable if the combat veteran is enrolled in a program leading to a graduate degree, including master and doctorate degrees. A graduate degree shall not include professional degrees, such as law, medicine or veterinary degrees. Eligibility for a limited tuition amount shall expire 20 years after the date of the veteran's last discharge from service.
Current law requires the tuition limitation to be provided before all other federal and state aid for which the veteran is eligible has been applied. Under this act, the tuition limitation may, at the combat veteran's discretion, be provided before all other aid. The public institution of higher education shall provide each combat veteran with written notice of this option and maintain a copy signed by the veteran in the official file.
This act is identical to SS/SB 306 (2019), and is similar to HCS/HB 1368 (2018).