Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB0587
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Full Text of SB0587  102nd General Assembly




State of Illinois
2021 and 2022


Introduced 2/24/2021, by Sen. Michael E. Hastings


105 ILCS 5/30-14.2  from Ch. 122, par. 30-14.2
110 ILCS 947/40

    Amends the Higher Education Student Assistance Act with respect to the Illinois Veteran grant program. Provides that a grant recipient is not required to pay any tuition or mandatory fees while attending a State-controlled university or public community college in this State for a period that is based on the length of his or her active duty service, as verified on his or her U.S. Department of Defense form DD-214, calculated at specified credit hour rates (rather than for a period that is equivalent to 4 years of full-time enrollment, including summer terms). Provides that a grant may be transferred to a qualified dependent beginning with the 2022-2023 academic year. Amends the School Code to make a related change. Effective July 1, 2021.

LRB102 13301 CMG 18645 b






SB0587LRB102 13301 CMG 18645 b

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,
5at some point after leaving such service, was a resident of
6Illinois for at least 15 consecutive years.
7    Full-time enrollment means 12 or more semester hours of
8courses per semester, or 12 or more quarter hours of courses
9per quarter, or the equivalent thereof per term. Scholarships
10utilized by dependents enrolled in less than full-time study
11shall be computed in the proportion which the number of hours
12so carried bears to full-time enrollment.
13    Scholarships awarded under this Section may be used by a
14spouse or child without regard to his or her age. The holder of
15a Scholarship awarded under this Section shall be subject to
16all examinations and academic standards, including the
17maintenance of minimum grade levels, that are applicable
18generally to other enrolled students at the Illinois
19institution of higher learning where the Scholarship is being
20used. If the surviving spouse remarries or if there is a
21divorce between the veteran or serviceperson and his or her
22spouse while the dependent is pursuing his or her course of
23study, Scholarship benefits will be terminated at the end of
24the term for which he or she is presently enrolled. Such
25dependents shall also be entitled, upon proper proof and
26application, to enroll in any extension course offered by a



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



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1subsection shall not exceed the cost equivalent of 4 calendar
2years of full-time enrollment, including summer terms, at the
3University of Illinois. Whenever practicable in the opinion of
4the Department of Veterans' Affairs, payment of benefits under
5this subsection shall be made directly to the facility, the
6cost of attendance or treatment at which is being defrayed, as
7such costs accrue.
8    (c) The benefits of this Section shall be administered by
9and paid for out of funds made available to the Illinois
10Department of Veterans' Affairs. The amounts that become due
11to any state supported Illinois institution of higher learning
12shall be payable by the Comptroller to such institution on
13vouchers approved by the Illinois Department of Veterans'
14Affairs. The amounts that become due under subsection (b) of
15this Section shall be payable by warrant upon vouchers issued
16by the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs and approved
17by the Comptroller. The Illinois Department of Veterans'
18Affairs shall determine the eligibility of the persons who
19make application for the benefits provided for in this
21    (d) A spouse, natural child, legally adopted child, or
22step-child of an eligible veteran or serviceperson is not
23eligible to receive any benefits under this Section if he or
24she is receiving grant assistance under Section 40 of the
25Higher Education Student Assistance Act.
26(Source: P.A. 100-201, eff. 8-18-17; 101-334, eff. 8-9-19.)



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



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1        active duty and received an honorable discharge for
2        medical reasons directly connected with such service.
3            (C) He or she served less than one year of federal
4        active duty and was discharged prior to August 11,
5        1967.
6            (D) He or she served less than one year of federal
7        active duty in a foreign country during a time of
8        hostilities in that foreign country.
9        (3) The person received an honorable discharge after
10    leaving each period of federal active duty service.
11        (4) The person returned to this State within 6 months
12    after leaving federal active duty service, or, if married
13    to a person in continued military service stationed
14    outside this State, returned to this State within 6 months
15    after his or her spouse left service or was stationed
16    within this State.
17        (5) The person does not meet the requirements of
18    paragraph (1), but (i) is a resident of Illinois at the
19    time of application to the Commission and (ii) at some
20    point after leaving federal active duty service, was a
21    resident of Illinois for at least 15 consecutive years.
22    "Qualified dependent" means any spouse or natural born or
23legally adopted child of a veteran of the United States Armed
24Forces who meets all of the following qualifications:
25        (1) Has earned a high school diploma or high school
26    equivalency certificate or is at least 18 years of age



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1    and, for a natural born or legally adopted child of a
2    veteran, less than 26 years of age, unless granted an
3    extension by the Commission due to a qualifying illness or
4    debilitating condition.
5        (2) Meets the cumulative grade point average
6    requirements of the postsecondary institution.
7        (3) Is a resident of Illinois for the term in which the
8    grant under subsection (i) is transferred.
9    "Time of hostilities" means any action by the Armed Forces
10of the United States that is recognized by the issuance of a
11Presidential proclamation or a Presidential executive order
12and in which the Armed Forces expeditionary medal or other
13campaign service medals are awarded according to Presidential
14executive order.
15    (b) A person who otherwise qualifies under the definition
16of "qualified applicant" under subsection (a) of this Section
17but has not left federal active duty service and has served at
18least one year of federal active duty or has served for less
19than one year of federal active duty in a foreign country
20during a time of hostilities in that foreign country and who
21can provide documentation demonstrating an honorable service
22record is eligible to receive assistance under this Section.
23    (c) A grant recipient qualified applicant is not required
24to pay any tuition or mandatory fees while attending a
25State-controlled university or public community college in
26this State for a period that is based on the length of the



SB0587- 8 -LRB102 13301 CMG 18645 b

1qualified applicant's federal active duty service, as verified
2on his or her U.S. Department of Defense form DD-214,
3calculated as follows:
4        (1) 72 credit hours (or 60% of the maximum payable
5    benefit) for 12 or more months but less than 18 months of
6    active duty service;
7        (2) 84 credit hours (or 70% of the maximum payable
8    benefit) for 18 or more months but less than 24 months of
9    active duty service;
10        (3) 96 credit hours (or 80% of the maximum payable
11    benefit) for 24 or more months but less than 30 months of
12    service;
13        (4) 108 credit hours (or 90% of the maximum payable
14    benefit) for 30 or more months but less than 36 months of
15    service; or
16        (5) 120 credit hours (or 100% of the maximum payable
17    benefit) for 36 or more months of service equivalent to 4
18    years of full-time enrollment, including summer terms.
19    A qualified applicant who has previously received benefits
20under this Section for a non-mandatory fee shall continue to
21receive benefits covering such fees while he or she is
22enrolled in a continuous program of study. The qualified
23applicant shall no longer receive a grant covering
24non-mandatory fees if he or she fails to enroll during an
25academic term, unless he or she is serving federal active duty



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



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1    (h) Assistance under this Section is available as long as
2the federal government provides educational benefits to
3veterans. Assistance must not be paid under this Section after
46 months following the termination of educational benefits to
5veterans by the federal government, except for persons who
6already have begun their education with assistance under this
7Section. If the federal government terminates educational
8benefits to veterans and at a later time resumes those
9benefits, assistance under this Section shall resume.
10    (i) Beginning with the 2022-2023 academic year, a grant
11awarded under this Section may be transferred to a qualified
12dependent if the qualified dependent's spouse or parent meets
13all of the following qualifications:
14        (1) He or she is a qualified applicant under
15    subsection (a) or (b).
16        (2) He or she has served at least 6 years of federal
17    active duty service and at least 2 years of Reserve or
18    Individual Ready Reserve service.
19        (3) He or she has no federal veterans' educational
20    benefits or no federal veterans' educational benefits
21    dedicated only to the payment of tuition and fees, such as
22    Chapter 31 or 33 benefits, for an enrolled term or
23    semester that exceed the value of a grant under this
24    Section.
25        (4) He or she is a resident of Illinois during the term
26    of the qualified dependent's enrollment unless the veteran



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



SB0587- 12 -LRB102 13301 CMG 18645 b

1her benefits to a qualified dependent under this subsection at
2any time but may not transfer his or her benefits to the same
3qualified dependent again once those benefits have been
4revoked for that qualified dependent. Benefits under this
5Section may not be transferred to a qualified dependent if he
6or she is receiving grant assistance under Section 30-14.2 of
7the School Code.
8    A veteran may transfer benefits under this subsection to
9multiple qualified dependents; however, the total number of
10credit hours of assistance transferred may not exceed 120
11credit hours, and a veteran may transfer benefits to only one
12qualified dependent at a time.
13(Source: P.A. 101-334, eff. 8-9-19.)
14    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect July 1,