being a veteran has its benefits...
State Assemblyman Greg Ball (R - Carmel) held a press Saturday to announce that his landmark program to create a tuition remission program for veterans had been included in the 2008-09 State Budget.
The budget was passed by both houses earlier this week. Effective July 1st, the measure allows combat veterans to attend SUNY graduate and undergraduate institutions at no cost.
"This program is very good news for our veterans, especially the young men and women who are, right now, returning from overseas. It is important that we remember that there is a war going on in which these brave soldiers are defending our freedoms - when they get home, we should thank and honor them for protecting our quality of life and do everything we can to ensure they have the best possible future. Passage
of this important program is a great step in the right direction of honoring the present and future of our troops," stated Ball, a former Air Force Captain.
Ball serves as Ranking Republican Member of the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee. His legislation was originally introduced in May of 2007, and in reintroduced in January of 2008, after former Governor Eliot Spitzer announced his support of the measure in his State of the State Address. A group of officials from the New
York Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the American Legion, and NYS Council of Veterans
Organizations testified before the Assembly in Albany to support the measure, and it was included in Spitzer's proposed executive budget in March.
Following the Governor's resignation, the fate of program was in doubt, but Governor David Paterson decided to keep the measure, and provided $2 million in funding for the program, which became Part N of Article VII of the State Budget. New York State veterans who served in the hostilities of Vietnam, Afghanistan and the Persian
Gulf will be eligible for tuition assistance benefits equal to the cost of SUNY
tuition, or the equivalent at any other New York State higher education institution. Previously, the State's Higher Education Service Corporation (HESC) offered tuition awards of $1,000 per year.
theres more but who cares...college for freeeeeee!!!