Archive for Monday, February 20, 2012

Proposal gets aired that would allow in-state tuition for military veterans at Kansas universities

February 20, 2012


— A House committee Monday heard from two Kansas University students, who are military veterans, and then recommended legislation that would allow all military veterans pay the lower in-state tuition rate to attend a regents university.

Sara Sneath, a military veteran and Kansas University student, on Monday testified to House Education Budget Committee on bill that would grant in-state tuition to military veterans.

Sara Sneath, a military veteran and Kansas University student, on Monday testified to House Education Budget Committee on bill that would grant in-state tuition to military veterans.

"Service members who gave years of their young lives in the service of our beloved country deserve in-state tuition," said Bradley Boomsma, an Iraq war disabled veteran who is originally from Arkansas but came to KU to study military history.

Boomsma and Sara Sneath, a Marine Corps veteran and Kansas native, said Kansas would benefit by attracting more veterans who are older, more likely married with families and who will settle down where they attend school.

"With the current reduction in armed forces, more military veterans — with entitlement to federal benefits — are looking for a place to pursue their education goals, a place they will eventually call home," said Sneath who is majoring in journalism, Spanish and sociology. "We believe that with House Bill 2652, military veterans will find that home in Kansas," she told the House Education Budget Committee.

Under current law, military personnel, their spouses and dependents are allowed to pay in-state rates at state universities, if they have been in the state for two years during their military service and established a residence in Kansas within 30 days of their discharge, according to a fiscal note of the bill. In the last fiscal year, universities waived $4 million in out-of-state tuition.

Under the proposal, the waiver program would be open to anyone who has served in the military. The cost of the program would increase, but no estimate has been given about how much because officials said it was impossible to predict how many would take advantage of the program.

Mary Jane Stankiewicz, spokesperson for the Kansas Board of Regents, said that while it appears on paper that the waiver costs the state money, the schools are receiving tuition funds they otherwise wouldn't have gotten.

Charles Yunker, adjutant of the American Legion Department of Kansas, said, "Some may argue if we as Kansas taxpayers can provide in-state tuition rates for the children of illegal immigrants, we should at a minimum provide the same consideration to those who have honorably served in the military."

Sneath said that prior to August, the Veteran's Administration paid about two thirds of the cost of out-of-state tuition rates. But that has since been cut to less than half, which has increased the out of pocket costs of veterans, from roughly $2,759 per semester to $4,756 per semester. she said. The in-state tuition rate at KU is $253.70 per credit hour, while the out-of-state rate is $650 per credit hour.


Jayhawker07 6 years, 4 months ago

About time that our vets get the same treatment that the immigrants do.

WilburNether 6 years, 4 months ago

I would not use the word "immigrants," because this is not about legal immigrants, but rather ILLEGAL ALIENS. The idiots in the Kansas Legislature decided some years ago to favor ILLEGAL ALIENS over American military veterans, an unconscionable act if there ever was one.

pace 6 years, 4 months ago

This is not about your hatred and obsession, This is about supporting our troops. Our vets should have instate tuition in any state in this country.

svenway_park 6 years, 4 months ago

Actually, the immigrants of which you speak have been living in Kansas and paying Kansas taxes for some years. These particular veterans, have not, nor have they chosen to make Kansas their official residence.

svenway_park 6 years, 4 months ago

Yes, I know this for sure. It is all there in Kansas Statutes and board of regents rules and regulations. I'll let you do your own homework to find the numbers.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 4 months ago

Actually, the immigrants of which you speak may or may not have been paying taxes here. Many would be coming directly out of high school where they may or may not have had jobs. And if we're talking about the sub-set of immigrants who are here illegally, then they also may or may not have been paying taxes. After all, if they have been working for cash (under the table), it's unlikely they were paying the appropriate amount of taxes. And if they they are using fraudulent documents, then they may be paying taxes all the while they were committing the crime of identity theft. As opposed to veterans, who by the very nature of their profession, have been moving around the world, protecting American interests as seen fit by our elected officials. And now that they do have the opportunity to spend some time in one place and would like to go to our universities, they have indeed chosen to be here in our state. The least we can do for them is afford them that opportunity. We subsidize their education with our dollars because they've subsidized our freedoms with their service.

svenway_park 6 years, 4 months ago

Those who move to the state with the intent to become a resident can achieve this tuition status within a year. This is already current law. This allows for Veterans, who have chosen other states as permanent residences, to avoid taxes, to be subsidized by Kansas taxpayers.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 4 months ago

Given their service to our country, I'm fine with subsidizing veterans who wish to go to Kansas schools. Given the mixed bag that is immigration, I'm less inclined to give them a subsidy.
That's my opinion. Feel free to feel differently.

gudpoynt 6 years, 4 months ago

"Subsidizing your freedom with our service!"

chootspa 6 years, 4 months ago

Do they buy all their food, pay all their rent, and use only under the table utilities? No? Then they do pay state taxes, Californian.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 4 months ago

I said if they were getting paid under the table, then they weren't paying the appropriate amount. If they're using false documents, then they're breaking laws. If they're coming out of high school, they may or may not have been working at all. Lot's of if(s). Lots of maybe(s). So many that it's hard to make a definitive statement about taxes, one way or the other. BTW - Shalom to you from beautiful Lawrence, Ks.

chootspa 6 years, 4 months ago

I'm sure they personally paid as many taxes as all the documented high schoolers who didn't work jobs and get in-state tuition did.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 4 months ago

Source? :-) Of course, I'm sure that's correct. But that's not the point. The proposal was to give a benefit to a group of people who ordinarily would not qualify for that benefit. That group being veterans. And given their service to America, I'm O.K. with that. Now if you'd like to discuss the very complex issue of immigration, legal and illegal, what benefits they provide to society, what drains they are on society, a whole myriad of issues can be discussed. But back to the issue at hand, should veterans be given this particular benefit, I'm of the opinion that the answer should be yes.

kochmoney 6 years, 4 months ago

Perhaps you shouldn't have engaged in the losing argument and stuck to the topic at hand in the first place. Just saying.

PS - I agree that an in-state benefit for vets would be a good idea.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

A much saner approach would be a 70% cut in military spending, and a 100% cut in war spending, which would boost the economy (meaning going into the military would no longer be last resort employment for so many millions) and much of those savings could be spent on providing education instead of funding imperial adventures.

WilburNether 6 years, 4 months ago

Bozo! What an appropriate handle YOU chose!

KS 6 years, 4 months ago

Righ on, Wilbur! I have often thought the same about that.

svenway_park 6 years, 4 months ago

The headline is a little misleading. Veterans who choose Kansas as their state of residence currently do pay in-state tuition. Or, as non-residents, they can choose to move to the state and live a year, just like other non-residents, and be afforded in-state Tuition rates.

This proposal is about allowing those who maintain their residency in other states, and pay their taxes to these other states, to be afforded in-state residency. I suggest that many would have a problem with this policy, if they really understand it.

In regards to the "immigrant" issue, Kansas law affords this privilege only to families who have lived in Kansas for a lenghty time, and who already pay Kansas taxes.

eljakeo 6 years, 4 months ago

Please read the bill before commenting on it. It specifically states that veterans must be "domiciliary residents" of Kansas to be eligible for the in-state tuition. To meet this criteria, you must live in Kansas and intend to remain here. Getting in-state tuition for ANYONE, vet or not, is not simply as easy as "move to the state and live a year." There are a lot of other factors concerned and most people cannot qualify. When you don't have any idea what you're talking about and post in public forums, you are helping people form opinions based on wrong information, and that is bad for democracy.

svenway_park 6 years, 4 months ago

Well, it really is about that simple. You must move here with the intent of remaining here as a resident. Along that line, you can not move here to be a resident if you still maintain ties in another state (as in owning a home, paying taxes, owning vehicles). (oh, and don't move to Kansas and go to Juco, because a presumption attaches that you moved to the state for educational purposes, not to become a resident)

Besides that, veterans are given an opportunity to select what state they choose for residence purposes. Many choose to officially reside in states which have no state income tax. So be it. That is their right. But then, perhaps those veterans should not expect other states residents to subsidize their higher education.

Anyone wanting to become a resident for tuition purposes in Kansas (and most other states) can do so fairly easy: move here, abandon ties with former state which might suggest you do not intend to remain, work here, live here, pay taxes, and Viola!, in a year you are a resident for fee purposes.

Not difficult, unless you really do not intend to become a resident, and that is what trips people up. Especially those kids from Chicago.

And yes, I do know what I am talking about.

eljakeo 6 years, 4 months ago

You seem to have conveniently forgotten your statement "This proposal is about allowing those who maintain their residency in other states, and pay their taxes to these other states, to be afforded in-state residency." That really is the crux of what I'm saying: You don't know what you are talking about and putting out faulty information about the bill. If they are maintaining residency in another state, this bill will change nothing for them. It's easy to gloss over that with your incorrect understanding of the ease of getting in-state status, but two wrongs don't make a right.

gudpoynt 6 years, 4 months ago

Excellent idea KS legislature! More ideas like this please -- that respect public spending on education, that honor veterans, that work toward progress.

And please, fewer ideas based on fear of brown skinned people, fear of teachers, fear of unions, fear of clean energy, fear of socialist indoctrination -- fewer ideas based on fear in general would be nice.

It's time we all started acting like grown-ups instead of allowing our unsubstantiated fears to foster the perpetuation of childish and dangerous ideologies (see Wilbur's post above).

pace 6 years, 4 months ago

This should not be a comment section about anything but our vets. I think every state in this country should offer instate tuition to our vets. They served, they deserve our attention, You guys riding on their backs to hack up your phlegm about your special hates should be ashamed.

svenway_park 6 years, 4 months ago

Expecting veterans to pay their fair share of taxes to support state and local government programs from which they benefit is hardly hating anyone. Especially if these veterans specifically seek to avoid paying income taxes to any state, and then turn around and expect to be subsidized by one of the most expensive state services provided by state taxpayers in every state.

gudpoynt 6 years, 4 months ago

"Especially if these veterans specifically seek to avoid paying income taxes to any state"

That's probably why they joined the service in the first place! Then nerve!

Holy cow, what a bunch of crooks those veterans are. I think they are right up there with public educator and senior citizens as one of the leading groups of citizens that are trying to destroy America by paying less taxes than me, and receiving government subsidies and/or paychecks.

I can't stand these unscrupulous people!

I've started an organization to speak out against them. It's called: "Citizens United Against Other Groups of Citizens That Are Trying to Destroy America by Paying Less Taxes Than Me and Receiving Government Subsidies and/or Paychecks".

If your interested in joining, please check out our website: http://www.citizensunitedagainstothergroupsofcitizensthataretryingtodestroyamericabypayinglesstaxesthanmeandreceivinggovernmentsubsidies

chootspa 6 years, 3 months ago

You're not the comment police. I support this measure, but that doesn't mean there isn't room t talk about other things.

billbodiggens 6 years, 4 months ago

I am an old vet. Had the GI Bill and the whole nine yards. But, when you get right down to it, this bill does not solve any problems now faced by Kansas. The jobs have to be there for anyone to stay in Kansas after they graduate, vet or no vet. The legal atmosphere of Kansas must be one of welcoming all comers who wish to work, vet or no vet. The schools their children attend must be adiquate, vet or no vet. The highways and infra structure to support industry must be adequate, vet or no vet. The legislature has just got to stop messing around and get to work, vet or no vet. Get on with the important stuff and leave this election year candy alone. (I would be surprised if even a simple majority of the Kansas legislature were vets. And I am willing to be surprised it that is not true.)

Commenting has been disabled for this item.