Bipartisan Veterans Education Bill Headed to Oregon’s Governor for Signature

From the office of Oregon State Senator Kim Thatcher | Senate District 13
Sen.kimthatcher@oregonlegislature.gov 
 
As of March 1st, my bill, SB 1557 B passed both chambers of the legislature and is now awaiting the governor’s signature. The bill is a step forward in protecting Oregon’s National Guard men and women with their educational success.
 
The legislative concept was brought to my attention by an Oregon National Guard Captain.  Several of his solders were enrolled in public universities and had recently been called to training and other functions of the state such as helping with the wildfires. Unfortunately, some of these duties coincided with their mid-terms and finals. Subsequently, they had to retake and repay for their classes.
 
Currently, under ORS.341.499, ORS 352.293 and ORS 353.200 universities are required to allow college students serving in the military to retake the class without additional cost to them if they were called up for more than 30 days to active duty. Senate Bill 1557 B adds the language of “30 days or less.”
 
When we call up Oregon’s National Guard to help our state, we should also be mindful of how it effects their lives at home. I drafted a minor change in the law that will help them succeed in furthering their education. Changing the law to add “30 days or less” recognizes the unique circumstances of Oregon’s National Guard and promotes equity of their educational success. By changing this law, it is being proactive to helping our service members before they are discharged.
 
The Oregon Enlisted Association supports the bill and a number of Oregon National Guard personnel have submitted written testimoney in support of the bill. Oregon universities and the Oregon Student Association also support this bill and I was proud to reach across the aisle to get this passed.
 
I think this bill is a perfect example of the kind of legislative work that was supposed to take place during the short session. It is bipartisan, and it is making a small but very important fix to our law. The session will end soon, so stand by for another update on how it all went.

 


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