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Honor, defend, and represent veterans in Texas by not removing education benefits.

This petition had 4,612 supporters

In the last legislative session, we were able to keep education benefits for military veterans and their families in Texas. Part of this success was the first comprehensive study of the benefits for veterans and their families. This study revealed that the benefits were a success for thousands of families, by giving them access to education that they otherwise would not receive.

The State of Texas has made significant commitments to Texas Veterans by providing quality opportunities within its system of higher education since 1923.

Today, the Hazlewood Act is a State of Texas benefit that provides qualified Veterans, spouses, and dependent children with an education benefit of up to 150 hours of tuition exemption, including most fee charges, at public institutions of higher education in Texas.

In 2009, the state Legislature passed the Hazlewood Legacy Act, which allows a qualifying Texas Veteran to pass any unused portion of that benefit to their eligible children. Opponents of this benefit are seeking ways to further reduce the Legacy portion of the benefit.

These families have paid in other ways, especially in the past 14 years that we’ve been at war. Their support of their loved ones in harm’s way has more than earned this legacy benefit.

Veterans bring in over $6 billion to the Texas economy in federal disability compensation funds each year. Veterans bring in nearly $980 million in federal education funds into the Texas economy each year.

Both Hazlewood and Legacy benefits costs only account for only $169 million each year. The federal dollars brought in by veterans each year far outweighs those dollars spent on these great benefits.

Texas university systems state that Hazlewood is a drain on their resources when in reality it’s a clever disguise to mask the fact that they’re just not making money on these veterans and family members attending their schools. In fact, veterans and legacy family members do pay fees each semester which helps cover overhead costs related to paying faculty and keeping classroom lights on.

62% of student veterans are first generation college students. Many of their family members are too. Don't we want the next generation of Texas veteran dependents to have debt-free access to a college education?  By the time children of Post 9/11 veterans are submitting their college applications, a state education will cost these families tens of thousands of dollars after they've sacrificed so much in support of our nation. 

Wasn't the goal of the Hazelwood Legacy exemption program to protect these families and provide our veterans with more economic opportunity than any other state?

Contact your state senator and state representative today and as them to vote against SB 1735 in order to save the Hazlewood Legacy benefit for our veteran families.

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