President Trump Signs Fifth Tester Bill into Law

Senator’s Legislation will Open Up Educational Opportunities for Montana Veterans

(Billings, Mont.)-President Trump today signed into law U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s bipartisan bill to expand G.I.  Bill benefits to America’s veterans.

Tester's Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act  will get rid of the arbitrary 15-year window for veterans to use their G.I. Bill education benefits. It also extends benefits to certain Reservists who deploy and to survivors of men and women who died in the line of duty. 

“This is a historic day for our nation’s veterans,” said Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “This bipartisan bill will open doors for the brave men and women who put it all on the line for our freedom.  I am honored and humbled to have worked with Republicans and Democrats to expand educational opportunities for those who served our nation in the military.”

The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act  makes responsible investments in student veterans who are pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering or math fields, as well as technical and vocational careers. 

In addition, the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act does the following:

  • Allows Reservists receiving medical treatment as a result of their service to count this time towards accruing education benefits. 
  • Restores benefits to student veterans who received credits or training from certain educational institutions that close. 
  • Reinstates the Reserve Educational Assistance Program for Reservists. 
  • Prorates licensing and certification benefits, rather than charging veterans a month's worth of benefits. 
  • Extends full education benefits to recipients of the Purple Heart. 
  • Prorates housing benefits for Reservists who mobilize for training or deployment while attending school.
  • Provides more on-campus educational and vocational counseling services for veterans.  

Last year, there were 2,030 G.I. Bill beneficiaries in Montana.