Texas House Mulls Cutting Popular Veteran Education Benefits

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A Texas lawmaker has pushed back a vote on a much-watched bill that would make cuts to a free college tuition program for veterans' children.

The bill -- meant to address the program's rising costs --was briefly discussed Friday.

But Republican Rep. John Zerwas postponed debate until Sunday, citing the measure's "complexity and emotion."

Before floor discussion even began, Democratic Rep. Joe Farias made an impassioned plea opposing Zerwas' bill.

The Vietnam veteran told colleagues, "Think twice, and open your heart to those that have endured the most."

Already Senate-approved, the bill tightens veteran eligibility requirements, cuts the number of free tuition hours and stipulates that benefits expire.

The program's cost to Texas public universities has climbed from $24.7 million in fiscal year 2010 to $169 million last fiscal year.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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