Florida Delegation Continues to Push Bill to Create Veteran Student Centers at Higher Ed Institutions

This week, members of the Florida congressional delegation–U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla.–continued their push for a proposal to help veterans attending colleges and universities across the nation.
In recent years, these members of the Florida delegation have championed the “Veterans Education Empowerment Act” which would create Veteran Student Centers at higher ed institutions across the nation. Supporters insist their bill “will give a boost to student veterans transitioning from military to civilian life.”
Supporters of the proposal showcased the bill this week after Frankel introduced the proposal last week with Bilirakis and Waltz as co-sponsors. U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., is championing the bill in the U.S. Senate with Rubio co-sponsoring it.
“We owe our veterans an immense debt of gratitude for the sacrifices they have made, and the least we can do is to make sure they are taken care of when they return home,” said Rosen. “I’m proud to reintroduce this bipartisan legislation that will help to address the unique needs of student veterans pursuing a higher education in Nevada and across the country by providing resources and assistance as they transition from the battlefield to the classroom and workforce.”
“We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the men and women who have bravely served our country,” said Rubio. “This legislation would help student veterans with the transition from military to civilian life, ensuring that they have the opportunity to succeed in their education and career goals.”
“As a mother of a U.S. Marine war veteran, I’ve seen firsthand the adjustment from military to civilian life,” said Frankel. “Veterans often make tremendous sacrifices to serve our country and deserve an opportunity for a successful civilian life when they return home. Providing a welcoming environment on college campuses to respond to veteran’s unique transition puts them on the path to their new journey.”
“As a veteran, I know how difficult the transition into civilian life can be for our veterans,” said Waltz. “Sadly, the dropout rate for student veterans is high due to the many obstacles they face while getting an education. We must help them succeed on their academic journeys by providing access to Student Veteran Centers at universities and colleges across America.”
“I have personally visited many schools that offer Student Veteran Centers and spoken with the veterans who utilize them. The veterans confirm that the enhanced services and specialized resources provided through the centers are invaluable as they seek to successfully reintegrate into civilian society,” said Bilirakis. “I hope my colleagues will join us in expediting passage of this important initiative.”
Frankel’s bill was sent to the U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee. Rosen’s bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.
The bill has the support of the Student Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and nine other veterans groups.
Kevin Derby
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