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HF 4221

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 03/05/2020 01:39pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to veterans; making technical changes to the GI Bill; amending Minnesota
Statutes 2018, section 197.791, subdivisions 4, 5, 5a, 5b.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 197.791, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Eligibility.

(a) A person is eligible for educational assistance under deleted text beginsubdivisionsdeleted text endnew text begin
subdivision
new text end 5 deleted text beginand 5adeleted text end if:

(1) the person is:

(i) a veteran who is serving or has served honorably in any branch or unit of the United
States armed forces at any time;

(ii) a nonveteran who has served honorably for a total of five years or more cumulatively
as a member of the Minnesota National Guard or any other active or reserve component of
the United States armed forces, and any part of that service occurred on or after September
11, 2001;

(iii) the surviving spouse or child of a person who has served in the military and who
has died as a direct result of that military service, only if the surviving spouse or child is
eligible to receive federal education benefits under United States Code, title 38, chapter 33,
as amended, or United States Code, title 38, chapter 35, as amended; or

(iv) the spouse or child of a person who has served in the military at any time and who
has a total and permanent service-connected disability as rated by the United States Veterans
Administration, only if the spouse or child is eligible to receive federal education benefits
under United States Code, title 38, chapter 33, as amended, or United States Code, title 38,
chapter 35, as amended; and

(2) the person receiving the educational assistance is a Minnesota resident, as defined
in section 136A.101, subdivision 8; and

(3) the person receiving the educational assistance:

(i) is an undergraduate or graduate student at an eligible institution;

(ii) is maintaining satisfactory academic progress as defined by the institution for students
participating in federal Title IV programs;

(iii) is enrolled in an education program leading to a certificate, diploma, or degree at
an eligible institution;

(iv) has applied for educational assistance under this section prior to the end of the
academic term for which the assistance is being requested;

(v) is in compliance with child support payment requirements under section 136A.121,
subdivision 2
, clause (5); and

(vi) has completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

(b) A person's eligibility terminates when the person becomes eligible for benefits under
section 135A.52.

(c) To determine eligibility, the commissioner may require official documentation,
including the person's federal form DD-214 or other official military discharge papers;
correspondence from the United States Veterans Administration; birth certificate; marriage
certificate; proof of enrollment at an eligible institution; signed affidavits; proof of residency;
proof of identity; or any other official documentation the commissioner considers necessary
to determine eligibility.

(d) The commissioner may deny eligibility or terminate benefits under this section to
any person who has not provided sufficient documentation to determine eligibility for the
program. An applicant may appeal the commissioner's eligibility determination or termination
of benefits in writing to the commissioner at any time. The commissioner must rule on any
application or appeal within 30 days of receipt of all documentation that the commissioner
requires. The decision of the commissioner regarding an appeal is final. However, an
applicant whose appeal of an eligibility determination has been rejected by the commissioner
may submit an additional appeal of that determination in writing to the commissioner at
any time that the applicant is able to provide substantively significant additional information
regarding the applicant's eligibility for the program. An approval of an applicant's eligibility
by the commissioner following an appeal by the applicant is not retroactively effective for
more than one year or the semester of the person's original application, whichever is later.

(e) Upon receiving an application with insufficient documentation to determine eligibility,
the commissioner must notify the applicant within 30 days of receipt of the application that
the application is being suspended pending receipt by the commissioner of sufficient
documentation from the applicant to determine eligibility.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 197.791, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Educational assistance deleted text beginamountdeleted text end.

(a) On approval by the commissioner of
eligibility for the program, the applicant shall be awarded, on a funds-available basis, the
educational assistance under the program for use at any time according to program rules at
any eligible institution.

(b) The amount of educational assistance in any semester or term for an eligible person
must be determined by subtracting from the eligible person's cost of attendance the amount
the person received or was eligible to receive in that semester or term from:

(1) the federal Pell Grant;

(2) the state grant program under section 136A.121; and

(3) any federal military or veterans educational benefits including but not limited to the
Montgomery GI Bill, GI Bill Kicker, the federal tuition assistance program, vocational
rehabilitation benefits, and any other federal benefits associated with the person's status as
a veteran, except veterans disability payments from the United States new text beginDepartment of new text endVeterans
deleted text begin Administration and payments made under the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program
(VRAP)
deleted text endnew text begin Affairsnew text end.

(c) The amount of educational assistance for any eligible person who is a full-time
student must not exceed the following:

(1) $3,000 per state fiscal year; and

(2) $10,000 in a lifetime.

(d) For a part-time student, the amount of educational assistance must not exceed $500
per semester or term of enrollment. For the purpose of this paragraph, a part-time
undergraduate student is a student taking fewer than 12 credits or the equivalent for a
semester or term of enrollment and a part-time graduate student is a student considered part
time by the eligible institution the graduate student is attending. The minimum award for
undergraduate and graduate students is $50 per term.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 197.791, subdivision 5a, is amended to read:


Subd. 5a.

Apprenticeship and on-the-job training.

(a) The commissioner, in
consultation with the commissioners of employment and economic development and labor
and industry, shall develop and implement an apprenticeship and on-the-job training program
to administer a portion of the Minnesota GI Bill program to pay benefit amounts to eligible
persons, as provided in this subdivision.

(b) An "eligible employer" means an employer operating a qualifying apprenticeship or
on-the-job training program that has been approved by the commissioner.

deleted text begin (c) A person is eligible for apprenticeship and on-the-job training assistance under this
subdivision if the person meets the criteria established under subdivision 4, paragraph (a).
The commissioner may determine eligibility as provided in subdivision 4, paragraph (c),
and may deny or terminate benefits as prescribed under subdivision 4, paragraphs (d) and
(e). The amount of assistance paid to or on behalf of an eligible individual under this
subdivision must not exceed the following:
deleted text end

new text begin (c) A person is eligible for apprenticeship and on-the-job training assistance under this
subdivision if the person is:
new text end

new text begin (i) a veteran who is serving or has served honorably in any branch or unit of the United
States armed forces at any time;
new text end

new text begin (ii) a nonveteran who has served honorably for a total of five years or more cumulatively
as a member of the Minnesota National Guard or any other active or reserve component of
the United States armed forces, and any part of that service occurred on or after September
11, 2001;
new text end

new text begin (iii) the surviving spouse or child of a person who has served in the military and who
has died as a direct result of that military service, only if the surviving spouse or child is
eligible to receive federal education benefits under United States Code, title 38, chapter 33,
as amended, or United States Code, title 38, chapter 35, as amended; or
new text end

new text begin (iv) the spouse or child of a person who has served in the military at any time and who
has a total and permanent service-connected disability as rated by the United States Veterans
Administration, only if the spouse or child is eligible to receive federal education benefits
under United States Code, title 38, chapter 33, as amended, or United States Code, title 38,
chapter 35.
new text end

new text begin (d) The amount of assistance paid to or on behalf of an eligible individual under this
subdivision must not exceed the following:
new text end

(1) $3,000 per fiscal year for apprenticeship expenses;

(2) $3,000 per fiscal year for on-the-job training;

(3) $1,000 for a job placement credit payable to an eligible employer upon hiring and
completion of six consecutive months' employment of a person receiving assistance under
this subdivision; and

(4) $1,000 for a job placement credit payable to an eligible employer after a person
receiving assistance under this subdivision has been employed by the eligible employer for
at least 12 consecutive months as a full-time employee.

new text begin (e) new text endNo more than $5,000 in aggregate benefits under this deleted text beginparagraphdeleted text endnew text begin subdivisionnew text end may be
paid to or on behalf of an individual in one fiscal yeardeleted text begin, and not more than $10,000 in
aggregate benefits under this paragraph may be paid to or on behalf of an individual over
any period of time
deleted text end.

new text begin (f) If an eligible person receives benefits under subdivision 5 or 5b, the eligible person's
aggregate benefits under this subdivision, subdivisions 5, and 5b, must not exceed $10,000
in the eligible person's lifetime.
new text end

deleted text begin (d)deleted text endnew text begin (g)new text end Assistance for apprenticeship expenses and on-the-job training is available for
qualifying programs, which must, at a minimum, meet the following criteria:

(1) the training must be with an eligible employer;

(2) the training must be documented and reported;

(3) the training must reasonably be expected to lead to an entry-level position; and

(4) the position must require at least six months of training to become fully trained.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 197.791, subdivision 5b, is amended to read:


Subd. 5b.

Additional professional or educational benefits.

(a) The commissioner shall
develop and implement a program to administer a portion of the Minnesota GI Bill program
to pay additional benefit amounts to eligible persons as provided under this subdivision.

deleted text begin (b) A person is eligible for additional benefits under this subdivision if the person meets
the criteria established under subdivision 4, paragraph (a), clause (1). The commissioner
may determine eligibility as provided in subdivision 4, paragraph (c), and may deny or
terminate benefits as prescribed under subdivision 4, paragraphs (d) and (e). The amount
of assistance paid to or on behalf of an eligible individual under this subdivision must not
exceed the following amounts:
deleted text end

new text begin (b) A person is eligible for additional benefits under this subdivision if the person is:
new text end

new text begin (i) a veteran who is serving or has served honorably in any branch or unit of the United
States armed forces at any time;
new text end

new text begin (ii) a nonveteran who has served honorably for a total of five years or more cumulatively
as a member of the Minnesota National Guard or any other active or reserve component of
the United States armed forced, and any part of that service occurred on or after September
11, 2001;
new text end

new text begin (iii) the surviving spouse or child of a person who has served in the military and who
has died as a direct result of that military service, only if the surviving spouse or child is
eligible to receive federal education benefits under United States Code, title 38, chapter 33,
as amended, or United States Code, title 38, chapter 35, as amended; or
new text end

new text begin (iv) the spouse or child of a person who has served in the military at any time and who
has a total and permanent service-connected disability as rated by the United States Veterans
Administration, only if the spouse or child is eligible to receive federal education benefits
under United States Code, title 38, chapter 33, as amended, or United States Code, title 38,
chapter 35.
new text end

new text begin (c) The amount of assistance paid to or on behalf of an eligible individual under this
subdivision must not exceed the following amounts:
new text end

(1) $3,000 per state fiscal year; and

(2) $10,000 in a lifetime.

new text begin (d) If an eligible person receives benefits under subdivision 5 or 5a, the eligible person's
aggregate benefits under this subdivision, subdivisions 5, and 5a, must not exceed $10,000
in the eligible person's lifetime.
new text end

deleted text begin (c)deleted text endnew text begin (e)new text end A person eligible under this subdivision may use the benefit amounts for the
following purposes:

(1) licensing or certification tests, the successful completion of which demonstrates an
individual's possession of the knowledge or skill required to enter into, maintain, or advance
in employment in a predetermined and identified vocation or profession, provided that the
tests and the licensing or credentialing organizations or entities that offer the tests are
approved by the commissioner;

(2) tests for admission to institutions of higher learning or graduate schools;

(3) national tests providing an opportunity for course credit at institutions of higher
learning;

(4) a preparatory course for a test that is required or used for admission to an institution
of higher education or a graduate program; and

(5) any fee associated with the pursuit of a professional or educational objective specified
in clauses (1) to (4).

deleted text begin (d) If an eligible person receives benefits under subdivision 5, the eligible person's
aggregate benefits under this subdivision and subdivision 5 must not exceed $10,000 in the
eligible person's lifetime.
deleted text end

deleted text begin (e) If an eligible person receives benefits under subdivision 5a, the eligible person's
aggregate benefits under this subdivision and subdivision 5a must not exceed $10,000 in
the eligible person's lifetime.
deleted text end

Sec. 5. new text beginREVISOR INSTRUCTION.
new text end

new text begin The revisor of statutes must renumber the provisions of Minnesota Statutes listed in
column A to the references listed in column B. The revisor must also make necessary
cross-reference changes in Minnesota Statutes and Minnesota Rules consistent with the
renumbering.
new text end

new text begin Column A
new text end
new text begin Column B
new text end
new text begin 197.791, subdivision 5a
new text end
new text begin 197.791, subdivision 6
new text end
new text begin 197.791, subdivision 5b
new text end
new text begin 197.791, subdivision 7
new text end
new text begin 197.791, subdivision 6
new text end
new text begin 197.791, subdivision 8
new text end