Bill Text: IL SB1255 | 2019-2020 | 101st General Assembly | Engrossed


Bill Title: Amends the Higher Education Student Assistance Act. With regard to the Illinois Veteran grant program, provides that, beginning with the 2019-2020 academic year, a veteran may transfer his or her benefits to a qualified dependent if certain conditions are met; defines "qualified dependent". Provides that a veteran may transfer benefits to multiple qualified dependents; however, the total number of credit hours of assistance transferred may not exceed 120 credit hours, and a veteran may transfer benefits to only one qualified dependent at a time. Effective July 1, 2019.

Spectrum: Strong Partisan Bill (Democrat 11-1)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-05-10 - House Committee Amendment No. 1 Rule 19(c) / Re-referred to Rules Committee [SB1255 Detail]

Download: Illinois-2019-SB1255-Engrossed.html



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1 AN ACT concerning education.
2 Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4 Section 5. The School Code is amended by changing Section
530-14.2 as follows:
6 (105 ILCS 5/30-14.2) (from Ch. 122, par. 30-14.2)
7 Sec. 30-14.2. MIA/POW scholarships.
8 (a) Any spouse, natural child, legally adopted child, or
9step-child of an eligible veteran or serviceperson who
10possesses all necessary entrance requirements shall, upon
11application and proper proof, be awarded a MIA/POW Scholarship
12consisting of the equivalent of 4 calendar years of full-time
13enrollment including summer terms, to the state supported
14Illinois institution of higher learning of his choice, subject
15to the restrictions listed below.
16 "Eligible veteran or serviceperson" means any veteran or
17serviceperson, including an Illinois National Guard member who
18is on active duty or is active on a training assignment, who
19has been declared by the U.S. Department of Defense or the U.S.
20Department of Veterans Affairs to be a prisoner of war, be
21missing in action, have died as the result of a
22service-connected disability or have become a person with a
23permanent disability from service-connected causes with 100%

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1disability and who (i) at the time of entering service was an
2Illinois resident, (ii) was an Illinois resident within 6
3months after entering such service, or (iii) is a resident of
4Illinois at the time of application for the Scholarship and, at
5some point after leaving such service, was a resident of
6Illinois for at least 15 consecutive years until July 1, 2014,
7became an Illinois resident within 6 months after leaving the
8service and can establish at least 30 years of continuous
9residency in the State of Illinois.
10 Full-time enrollment means 12 or more semester hours of
11courses per semester, or 12 or more quarter hours of courses
12per quarter, or the equivalent thereof per term. Scholarships
13utilized by dependents enrolled in less than full-time study
14shall be computed in the proportion which the number of hours
15so carried bears to full-time enrollment.
16 Scholarships awarded under this Section may be used by a
17spouse or child without regard to his or her age. The holder of
18a Scholarship awarded under this Section shall be subject to
19all examinations and academic standards, including the
20maintenance of minimum grade levels, that are applicable
21generally to other enrolled students at the Illinois
22institution of higher learning where the Scholarship is being
23used. If the surviving spouse remarries or if there is a
24divorce between the veteran or serviceperson and his or her
25spouse while the dependent is pursuing his or her course of
26study, Scholarship benefits will be terminated at the end of

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1the term for which he or she is presently enrolled. Such
2dependents shall also be entitled, upon proper proof and
3application, to enroll in any extension course offered by a
4State supported Illinois institution of higher learning
5without payment of tuition and approved fees.
6 The holder of a MIA/POW Scholarship authorized under this
7Section shall not be required to pay any matriculation or
8application fees, tuition, activities fees, graduation fees or
9other fees, except multipurpose building fees or similar fees
10for supplies and materials.
11 Any dependent who has been or shall be awarded a MIA/POW
12Scholarship shall be reimbursed by the appropriate institution
13of higher learning for any fees which he or she has paid and
14for which exemption is granted under this Section if
15application for reimbursement is made within 2 months following
16the end of the school term for which the fees were paid.
17 (b) In lieu of the benefit provided in subsection (a), any
18spouse, natural child, legally adopted child, or step-child of
19an eligible veteran or serviceperson, which spouse or child has
20a physical, mental or developmental disability, shall be
21entitled to receive, upon application and proper proof, a
22benefit to be used for the purpose of defraying the cost of the
23attendance or treatment of such spouse or child at one or more
24appropriate therapeutic, rehabilitative or educational
25facilities. The application and proof may be made by the parent
26or legal guardian of the spouse or child on his or her behalf.

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1 The total benefit provided to any beneficiary under this
2subsection shall not exceed the cost equivalent of 4 calendar
3years of full-time enrollment, including summer terms, at the
4University of Illinois. Whenever practicable in the opinion of
5the Department of Veterans' Affairs, payment of benefits under
6this subsection shall be made directly to the facility, the
7cost of attendance or treatment at which is being defrayed, as
8such costs accrue.
9 (c) The benefits of this Section shall be administered by
10and paid for out of funds made available to the Illinois
11Department of Veterans' Affairs. The amounts that become due to
12any state supported Illinois institution of higher learning
13shall be payable by the Comptroller to such institution on
14vouchers approved by the Illinois Department of Veterans'
15Affairs. The amounts that become due under subsection (b) of
16this Section shall be payable by warrant upon vouchers issued
17by the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs and approved by
18the Comptroller. The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs
19shall determine the eligibility of the persons who make
20application for the benefits provided for in this Section.
21(Source: P.A. 99-78, eff. 7-20-15; 99-143, eff. 7-27-15;
22100-201, eff. 8-18-17.)
23 Section 10. The Higher Education Student Assistance Act is
24amended by changing Section 40 as follows:

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1 (110 ILCS 947/40)
2 Sec. 40. Illinois Veteran grant program.
3 (a) As used in this Section:
4 "Qualified applicant" means a person who served in the
5Armed Forces of the United States, a Reserve component of the
6Armed Forces, or the Illinois National Guard, excluding members
7of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps and those whose only
8service has been attendance at a service academy, and who meets
9all of the following qualifications of either paragraphs (1)
10through (3) or paragraphs (2), (3), and (5):
11 (1) At the time of entering federal active duty service
12 the person was one of the following:
13 (A) An Illinois resident.
14 (B) An Illinois resident within 6 months of
15 entering such service.
16 (C) Enrolled at a State-controlled university or
17 public community college in this State.
18 (2) The person meets one of the following requirements:
19 (A) He or she served at least one year of federal
20 active duty.
21 (B) He or she served less than one year of federal
22 active duty and received an honorable discharge for
23 medical reasons directly connected with such service.
24 (C) He or she served less than one year of federal
25 active duty and was discharged prior to August 11,
26 1967.

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1 (D) He or she served less than one year of federal
2 active duty in a foreign country during a time of
3 hostilities in that foreign country.
4 (3) The person received an honorable discharge after
5 leaving each period of federal active duty service.
6 (4) (Blank). The person returned to this State within 6
7 months after leaving federal active duty service, or, if
8 married to a person in continued military service stationed
9 outside this State, returned to this State within 6 months
10 after his or her spouse left service or was stationed
11 within this State.
12 (5) The person does not meet the requirements of
13 paragraph (1), but (i) is a resident of Illinois at the
14 time of application to the Commission and (ii) at some
15 point after leaving federal active duty service, was a
16 resident of Illinois for at least 15 consecutive years.
17 "Qualified dependent" means any spouse or natural born or
18legally adopted child of a veteran of the United States Armed
19Forces who meets all of the following qualifications:
20 (1) Has earned a high school diploma or high school
21 equivalency certificate and is at least 18 years of age but
22 less than 26 years of age, unless granted an extension by
23 the Commission due to a qualifying illness or debilitating
24 condition.
25 (2) Meets the cumulative grade point average
26 requirements of the postsecondary institution.

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1 (3) Is a resident of Illinois for the term in which the
2 grant under subsection (i) is transferred.
3 "Time of hostilities" means any action by the Armed Forces
4of the United States that is recognized by the issuance of a
5Presidential proclamation or a Presidential executive order
6and in which the Armed Forces expeditionary medal or other
7campaign service medals are awarded according to Presidential
8executive order.
9 (b) A person who otherwise qualifies under the definition
10of "qualified applicant" under subsection (a) of this Section
11but has not left federal active duty service and has served at
12least one year of federal active duty or has served for less
13than one year of federal active duty in a foreign country
14during a time of hostilities in that foreign country and who
15can provide documentation demonstrating an honorable service
16record is eligible to receive assistance under this Section.
17 (c) A grant recipient qualified applicant is not required
18to pay any tuition or mandatory fees while attending a
19State-controlled university or public community college in
20this State for a period that is equivalent to 4 years of
21full-time enrollment, including summer terms.
22 A qualified applicant who has previously received benefits
23under this Section for a non-mandatory fee shall continue to
24receive benefits covering such fees while he or she is enrolled
25in a continuous program of study. The qualified applicant shall
26no longer receive a grant covering non-mandatory fees if he or

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1she fails to enroll during an academic term, unless he or she
2is serving federal active duty service.
3 (d) A person qualified applicant who has been or is to be
4awarded assistance under this Section shall receive that
5assistance if the person qualified applicant notifies his or
6her postsecondary institution of that fact by the end of the
7school term for which assistance is requested.
8 (e) Assistance under this Section is considered an
9entitlement that the State-controlled college or public
10community college in which the person qualified applicant is
11enrolled shall honor without any condition other than the
12person's qualified applicant's maintenance of minimum grade
13levels and a satisfactory student loan repayment record
14pursuant to subsection (c) of Section 20 of this Act.
15 (f) The Commission shall administer the grant program
16established by this Section and shall make all necessary and
17proper rules not inconsistent with this Section for its
18effective implementation.
19 (g) All applications for assistance under this Section must
20be made to the Commission on forms that the Commission shall
21provide. The Commission shall determine the form of application
22and the information required to be set forth in the
23application, and the Commission shall require qualified
24applicants to submit with their applications any supporting
25documents that the Commission deems necessary. Upon request,
26the Department of Veterans' Affairs shall assist the Commission

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1in determining the eligibility of applicants for assistance
2under this Section.
3 (h) Assistance under this Section is available as long as
4the federal government provides educational benefits to
5veterans. Assistance must not be paid under this Section after
66 months following the termination of educational benefits to
7veterans by the federal government, except for persons who
8already have begun their education with assistance under this
9Section. If the federal government terminates educational
10benefits to veterans and at a later time resumes those
11benefits, assistance under this Section shall resume.
12 (i) Beginning with the 2019-2020 academic year, a grant
13awarded under this Section may be transferred to a qualified
14dependent if the qualified dependent's spouse or parent meets
15all of the following qualifications:
16 (1) He or she is a qualified applicant under subsection
17 (a) or (b).
18 (2) He or she has served at least 6 years of federal
19 active duty service and at least 2 years of Reserve or
20 Individual Ready Reserve service.
21 (3) He or she has no federal veterans' educational
22 benefits or no federal veterans' educational benefits
23 dedicated only to the payment of tuition and fees, such as
24 Chapter 31 or 33 benefits, for an enrolled term or semester
25 that exceed the value of a grant under this Section.
26 (4) He or she is a resident of Illinois during the term

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1 of the qualified dependent's enrollment unless the veteran
2 has been recalled to active duty outside the State or has
3 rejoined the military and is outside the State pursuant to
4 military orders. However, a veteran who has a
5 service-connected disability rating, as determined by the
6 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, of 90% to 100% or is
7 unemployable based on a total disability, as determined by
8 the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, is not required to
9 maintain Illinois residency while his or her qualified
10 dependent receives benefits under this subsection.
11 A qualified dependent of a person who was killed in the
12line of duty, was a prisoner of war, was missing in action, had
13a service-connected disability rating, as determined by the
14U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, of 90% to 100%, was
15unemployable based on a total disability, as determined by the
16U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or died as a result of
17injury or illness directly related to his or her military
18service is eligible for a grant transfer of no less than 120
19credit hours under this subsection if the spouse or parent
20would have otherwise met the qualifications under this
21subsection. A dependent who is a natural born or legally
22adopted child of a veteran may still qualify for a grant under
23this subsection if he or she marries or if his or her parents
24divorce.
25 Benefits under this Section may not be used simultaneously
26by both the veteran and his or her qualified dependent. A

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1veteran may revoke or otherwise change the transfer of his or
2her benefits to a qualified dependent under this subsection at
3any time but may not transfer his or her benefits to the same
4qualified dependent again once those benefits have been revoked
5for that qualified dependent.
6 A veteran may transfer benefits under this subsection to
7multiple qualified dependents; however, the total number of
8credit hours of assistance transferred may not exceed 120
9credit hours, and a veteran may transfer benefits to only one
10qualified dependent at a time.
11(Source: P.A. 94-583, eff. 8-15-05.)
12 Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect July 1,
132019.
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