MONTGOMERY, Alabama (May 21, 2013) – The Alabama Legislature approved a bill Monday to allow in-state tuition fees for active service members, their spouses, and dependents located in Alabama under orders. HB 424 was sponsored by Rep. Barry Moore in the House and carried by Sen. Bill Holtzclaw in the Senate.
HB 424 is one in a package of bills drafted and supported by the Military Stability Commission. Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey serves as Chair of the Military Stability Commission. The purpose of the Commission is to strengthen Alabama’s military installations, advocate for our military men and women, and prepare for the Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) process.
“It’s unclear when BRAC will come up again, but it is the Military Stability Commission’s and my goal to be prepared when it does. Reinforcing Alabama’s role as a good host to military families and installations by introducing measures like extending in-state tuition rates to service members, helps build up our defense against dramatic changes due to BRAC,” said Lieutenant Governor Ivey.
The bill also extends to a member of the Alabama National Guard who stays in the Guard while enrolled in school after two years of service and a veteran of the Armed Forces who has served on active duty for two years and has received an honorable discharge; is currently serving in a reserve unit; or has been assigned to a service-connected disability.
“I am pleased to make changes in state law that will impact our military families in a positive way. Anything we can do to improve the lives of our soldiers and their dependents while stationed in our state is a good thing,” said Rep. Moore. “They make great sacrifices for our nation and its citizens. In-state tuition is one of many things we can and should do.”
“As a retired Marine Corps Officer, I know the sacrifice our military families make in service to our state and nation. While stationed in Alabama, I want them to feel welcome and at home. Providing tuition at the same cost as residents is one way to do that and say thank you for their service,” said Sen. Holtzclaw.
HB 424 will now be sent to Governor Bentley for final review.