Senate OKs tech-training payment

McFarland confident about VA changes

Veterans and their families will be eligible for accelerated educational benefits for training that leads to jobs in the high-technology industry and other areas of the economy if the House approves a bill passed by the Senate this week.

On Aug. 1, the Senate unanimously approved S. 2694, the “Veterans’ Choice of Representation and Benefits Enhancement Act of 2006.” The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee approved the legislation last month.

The House will return from its August recess Sept. 5.

Sens. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) and Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) are seeking the education amendment that calls for prompt reimbursement of as much as 60 percent of tuition and fees for approved high-cost, short-term education programs that lead to employment in a high-tech area.

Training for careers in transportation, construction, hospitality and energy would also be covered.

If signed into law, the new regulations would take effect Oct. 1, 2007, and would apply only to enrollments that begin on or after that date.

The main thrust of the legislation is to overturn a Civil War-era policy that denies veterans the right to hire attorneys when they seek benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs until they have exhausted all VA processes, which could take years.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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