Proposed bill would exclude children born after military service - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Proposed bill would exclude children born after military service from Hazlewood Act benefits

Source: KXXV Source: KXXV

Representative Jose Manuel Lozano filed a bill on March 9 that would lessen the number of children eligible for the Hazlewood Act. 

Currently, the Hazlewood Act provides qualified Veterans, spouses, and dependent children with up to 150 hours of tuition exemption at public universities in Texas.

House Bill 3766 addressed the fact that the cost of the program skyrocketed after it expanded in 2009 to include children of veterans.

The bill will add stipulations regarding time served in the military and add a deadline to the amount of time after a solider is discharged that the program can be used.

The tuition exemption would expire 15 years after the veteran was honorably discharged - meaning children born after their parent left the military would no longer qualify.

Representative César Blanco from El Paso said he was disappointed in the proposal and intends to fight it.  

"I just want to say that it's disappointing that the Republicans are going back on the promises made to veterans. We as democrats and those of us who have served in uniform here in the Texas House and Senate will make sure we push back and continue to honor our veterans," Blanco said.  

News Channel 25 has reached out to Representative Lozano about the bill, but has not yet heard back.

"I am concerned that Rep. Lozano is calling this the Hazlewood Preservation when what it really does is remove several veterans and their families from the program," Blanco said.

Tammy day said she was medically discharged from the military after serving just under three years. She says she and her daughter couldn't have made it through school without the Hazlewood Act. 

"She looked at me at the kitchen table and said 'Mom, what would we have ever done without Hazlewood'," Day said. 

The proposed bill will add 4 new stipulations to the existing Hazlewood Act.

"It would limit the Hazlewood exemption for honorably discharged veterans by requiring four years of service at minimum instead of the current 180 days. The bill would also disallow veterans from being able to use the benefits after 15 years from the date the veteran was honorably discharged," Blanco added.

The stipulations would also include the removal of the bill from the control of the Texas Veterans Commission and would not grandfather in any current active-duty military.

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