Kentucky House leadership last week called on Governor Matt Bevin to add more money to the National Guard Tuition Assistance Program, which has seen requests outpace available funding.
In the letter signed by all five House leaders, they wrote, “Some servicemen and servicewomen likely decided to go into the National Guard because of the benefit provided by the Tuition Assistance Program. Denying this benefit to those men and women who served our state and country sends the wrong message. We must work together to solve this problem.”
They noted that the current budget sets aside nearly $4.9 million each year for the tuition program, which they said was believed at the time to be sufficient. With more National Guard members returning home from duty overseas, however, nearly 700 applicants saw their requests denied for the upcoming spring semester. The projected shortfall is $2.83 million.
House leaders are asking Bevin to include a current-year appropriation in the upcoming budget so no one would have their assistance denied or delayed. They said they would approve making this a necessary government expense that could be paid through the Budget Reserve Trust Fund.