14 July 2009

House passes five year pilot program for veterans work-study

Today the full House passed, 422-0, the Pilot College Work Study Programs for Veterans Act of 2009, HR 1037. The vote roll call can be found here. Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.) is the chief sponsor of HR 1037. The five year pilot program would permit veterans to work in various academia departments such as in administrative services offices for students, lab assistants, researchers, records, registration, teachers, and tutors.

Under the present system, these positions are not available to veteran students who have three-quarters or more course loads because the employment has to be related in someway to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Examples of such are jobs in veterans medical facilities. The bill has the backing of many veterans groups including the American Legion, which is the nation's largest veterans organization.

Last month the Congressional Budget Office issued a cost estimate on HR 1037 which can be found here. CBO estimates that the costs to the VA would be $7 million (USD) in 2010 and between the years 2011-2014, $10 million (USD) each year. The bill now heads to the Senate where it will most likely be referred to the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee for consideration.

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