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Michigan Lawmaker Proposes In-State Tuition For Vets

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LANSING (WWJ/AP) - Active duty military personnel and veterans would pay in-state tuition in Michigan under measures introduced by one Democratic lawmaker.

Rep. David Knezek of Dearborn Heights introduced two joint resolutions Thursday to provide any active-duty, reserve or honorary discharged service members with in-state tuition at Michigan state universities and community colleges.

In a statement, Knezek said some service members are currently forced to pay out-of-state tuition fees when they return to Michigan after serving in the military.

“I’ll be the first to tell you that our universities and community colleges go above and beyond to serve our veteran population in Michigan. I personally experienced their support when I was a student at UM-Dearborn after returning from Iraq,” said Knezek, the first Iraq or Afghanistan veteran to serve in the Michigan Legislature. “Unfortunately, the residency question is one that has gone unaddressed in recent years.”

The measures would require a two-thirds vote in both houses of the Legislature. If passed, they’d go on the ballot for the public’s approval in the next general election.

If the measures pass, Knezek said it would be a huge win for veterans, and something that is desperately needed in the state. Citing data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Knezek said Michigan ranks 53 in access to veterans benefits — trailing behind Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam.

“The least we can do for the people who honorably serve our country is to ease their transition into college by guaranteeing them in-state tuition,” Knezek said.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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