From the Office of State Senator Leticia Van de Putte

For Immediate Release
February 24, 2009
Contact: Kathryn Freeman, (512) 463-0126

Van de Putte and Herrero To Allow College Benefits to be Transferred to Children

(AUSTIN, TX) — Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio) and Representative Abel Herrero (D- Robstown) filed the Hazlewood Legacy Act which would allow Texas armed service members to transfer their higher education benefits to their children.

The Hazlewood Act passed by the Legislature over sixty years ago, exempts qualified students from the payment of all tuition and some fees while attending public higher education institutions in Texas. Hazlewood benefits are available to honorably discharged or separated Texas veterans who were legal residents of Texas when they entered the military. Those who are eligible may use the exemption for up to 150 credit hours at a state institution of higher education.

Currently, the Hazlewood benefit is transferable to the children of service members only when the service member dies as a result of an injury directly related to their military service. SB 845 and HB 1550 will allow any veteran who is eligible for the Hazlewood benefit to transfer his/her benefit to his/her child.

"Strong military families are the backbone of our nation's security. Our service members have earned their higher education benefits in service to our country. They should be able to use their benefits for their child, should they not use it themselves," said Van de Putte.

"Losing a loved one should not be the only way the children of our servicemen and women should be able to avail themselves of benefits earned by their father or mother. Texas should further acknowledge the sacrifices of our military men and women by extending to their children the benefits they rightfully deserve. By applying the Hazlewood Legacy Act benefits to veteran's children, Texas will further solidify its support of our service men and women," said Herrero.