Burns' military tuition bill passes key Senate committee, heads to full chamber for vote

Legislation would guarantee in-state tuition for military families

EBENSBURG, Sept. 21 – Continuing his fight for the families of Pennsylvania service members in Harrisburg, state Rep. Frank Burns’ bill to guarantee military families in Pennsylvania receive in-state tuition at public colleges or universities even if a parent is deployed or reassigned out of state has passed a key vote today in the Pennsylvania Senate.

“Today my bill to support Pennsylvania service members’ families is one step closer to becoming a law and bring peace of mind to those who sacrifice so much for their state and nation,” Burns said. “I’ve been working hard behind the scenes to get this bill passed, and allowing a vote to pass this bill into law should be an easy decision for Senate leadership.”

Burns’ H.B. 941 would ensure military families are guaranteed the in-state tuition rate as soon as a student enrolls or registers at a community college or submits an enrollment deposit to a four-year public college or university, even if their military parent is later reassigned to another state. Under current Pennsylvania law, the U.S. Department of Defense found some students lost that in-state rate, due to a parent’s reassignment outside of Pennsylvania, between the day the student was accepted to the college or university and the first day of the semester.

The bill was unanimously approved by the state House of Representatives in June, and now awaits just a vote in the state Senate before it could be signed into law. Burns has vowed to fight to the bitter end to get his bill over the goal line -- and bring peace of mind to Pennsylvania’s military families.

“These students shouldn’t be penalized because of their mother’s or father’s reassignment, which is beyond their control,” Burns said. “Service members and their families count on us to ensure they get the benefits they deserve – and it’s time for the state Senate to step up for these families.”