|Posted:||February 26, 2019 04:13 PM|
|From:||Representative Stephen Barrar and Rep. Chris Sainato|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||PA National Guard Military Family Education Program|
|As the respective House Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee Chairmen, we will be introducing legislation on an issue which was highlighted in the Governor’s recent budget address. This legislation will enhance our current Pennsylvania National Guard Military Education Program by including a member of the National Guard’s spouse or child in this benefit program.
The Military Family Education Program will enable Pennsylvania National Guardsmen to earn educational benefits for their spouse and/or children by committing to a second obligation of six years with the Pennsylvania National Guard. This will help retain current National Guard members and attract transitioning military service members to Pennsylvania.
The benefit will pay for ten semesters/quarters or five years equivalent at the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education tuition rate. This mirrors the Pennsylvania National Guard Education Assistance Program, that has been an educational benefit for our commonwealths National Guard members since 1996.
Pennsylvania families so often sacrifice to support their National Guard soldiers and airmen. Our National Guard men and women in uniform desperately need the support of their family to ensure they remain focused on their mission. The Military Family Education Program will provide a well-deserved education benefit to Pennsylvania families who support our National Guard members during many times of absence. Sometimes the call is to train, others to support our commonwealth during times of natural disaster and emergencies, and finally during some of the most difficult and lengthy deployments our nation has seen. Every time a member of the National Guard walks out of their home wearing the uniform, their family sacrifices.
In addition to supporting our Pennsylvania National Guard families, this program will increase retention rates in the Pennsylvania National Guard. This program will strengthen our readiness and assist in maintaining the capabilities needed to remain the second largest National Guard in the nation.
We sincerely believe that our Pennsylvania National Guard members and their families deserve this benefit and we look forward to working with the governor and our PA National Guard leadership on this important piece of legislation. We encourage you to join us in support of this legislation by becoming a cosponsor.
Introduced as HB1324