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July 15, 2004

Gov. Blagojevich signs legislation making education more affordable for Illinois military families
Governor signs law granting military families in-state tuition to public universities

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed two pieces of legislation making education more affordable for Illinois military personnel and their families. House Bill 3877 requires all public universities to provide in-state tuition rates to a person on active military duty in Illinois or their dependants.
“Military personnel and their families make significant sacrifices for our welfare and freedom,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “Out-of-state tuition costs thousands of dollars more than in-state tuition, which can limit options for our men and women serving in the military and their families.”
The University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University already follow this practice, extending active duty members and their families the opportunity to attend schools of higher education at a tuition rate that is much more affordable.  House Bill 3877 extends the benefit to all 12 Illinois public university campuses.
“Active duty service members and their families usually do not have the benefit of staying within their home state,” said Brig. Gen. Randal Thomas, Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard. “This legislation allows greater opportunity for them to further their education at a reasonable cost.”
Chief sponsors of HB 3877 are Rep. Dan Brady (R-Bloomington) and Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington).  Students enrolling at an Illinois public university will be able to receive the in-state tuition benefit this upcoming fall semester.
Another bill signed today by the Governor, Senate Bill 2444, allows U.S. military personnel to enroll a dependent child in a school district outside their current residency without being charged non-resident fees.
This legislation offers military personnel located temporarily outside of a school district, but who will be moving within that school district, the ability to enroll their children without paying non-resident tuition.  Military members must show proof of residency or intent to live within the school district within 60 days of the initial enrollment. 
The new law will mainly impact school districts in and around Scott Air Force Base, located in St. Clair County, and the Great Lakes Naval Station located north of Chicago in Lake County.
Chief sponsors of Senate Bill 2444 are Sen. James Clayborne (East St. Louis) and Rep. Thomas Holbrook (D-Belleville).  SB 2444 is effective immediately.


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