Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 1402 (rfh) To amend title 38, United States Code, to enhance programs providing education benefits for veterans, and for other purposes. [Referred in House] ...

S. 1402 (rfh) To amend title 38, United States Code, to enhance programs providing education benefits for veterans, and for other purposes. [Referred in House] ...


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                                                       Calendar No. 222

106th CONGRESS

  1st Session

                                S. 1402

                          [Report No. 106-114]

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL

 To amend title 38, United States Code, to enhance programs providing 
        education benefits for veterans, and for other purposes.

_______________________________________________________________________

                             July 20, 1999

                 Read twice and placed and the calendar





                                                       Calendar No. 222
106th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                S. 1402

                          [Report No. 106-114]

 To amend title 38, United States Code, to enhance programs providing 
        education benefits for veterans, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             July 20, 1999

  Mr. Specter, from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, reported the 
    following original bill; which was read twice and placed on the 
                                calendar

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To amend title 38, United States Code, to enhance programs providing 
        education benefits for veterans, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``All-Volunteer Force Educational 
Assistance Programs Improvements Act of 1999''.

SEC. 2. REFERENCES TO TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE.

    Except as otherwise expressly provided, whenever in this Act an 
amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an amendment to, or repeal 
of, a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to 
be made to a section or other provision of title 38, United States 
Code.

SEC. 3. AVAILABILITY OF MONTGOMERY GI BILL BENEFITS FOR PREPARATORY 
              COURSES FOR COLLEGE AND GRADUATE SCHOOL ENTRANCE EXAMS.

    Section 3002(3) is amended--
            (1) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``and'' at the end;
            (2) by redesignating subparagraph (B) as subparagraph (C); 
        and
            (3) by inserting after subparagraph (A) the following new 
        subparagraph (B):
            ``(B) includes--
                    ``(i) a preparatory course for a test that is 
                required or utilized for admission to an institution of 
                higher education; and
                    ``(ii) a preparatory course for a test that is 
                required or utilized for admission to a graduate 
                school; and''.

SEC. 4. INCREASE IN BASIC BENEFIT OF ACTIVE DUTY EDUCATIONAL 
              ASSISTANCE.

    (a) Increase in Basic Benefit.--Section 3015 is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a)(1), by striking ``$528'' and 
        inserting ``$600''; and
            (2) in subsection (b)(1), by striking ``$429'' and 
        inserting ``$488''.
    (b) Effective Date.--The amendments made by subsection (a) shall 
take effect on October 1, 1999, and shall apply with respect to 
educational assistance allowances paid for months after September 1999. 
However, no adjustment in rates of educational assistance shall be made 
under section 3015(g) of title 38, United States Code, for fiscal year 
2000.

SEC. 5. INCREASE IN RATES OF SURVIVORS AND DEPENDENTS EDUCATIONAL 
              ASSISTANCE.

    (a) Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance.--Section 3532 
is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a)(1)--
                    (A) by striking ``$485'' and inserting ``$550'';
                    (B) by striking ``$365'' and inserting ``$414''; 
                and
                    (C) by striking ``$242'' and inserting ``$274'';
            (2) in subsection (a)(2), by striking ``$485'' and 
        inserting ``$550'';
            (3) in subsection (b), by striking ``$485'' and inserting 
        ``$550''; and
            (4) in subsection (c)(2)--
                    (A) by striking ``$392'' and inserting ``$445'';
                    (B) by striking ``$294'' and inserting ``$333''; 
                and
                    (C) by striking ``$196'' and inserting ``$222''.
    (b) Correspondence Course.--Section 3534(b) is amended by striking 
``$485'' and inserting ``$550''.
    (c) Special Restorative Training.--Section 3542(a) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``$485'' and inserting ``$550'';
            (2) by striking ``$152'' each place it appears and 
        inserting ``$172''; and
            (3) by striking ``$16.16'' and inserting ``$18.35''.
    (d) Apprenticeship Training.--Section 3687(b)(2) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``$353'' and inserting ``$401'';
            (2) by striking ``$264'' and inserting ``$299'';
            (3) by striking ``$175'' and inserting ``$198''; and
            (4) by striking ``$88'' and inserting ``$99''.
    (e) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section shall take 
effect on October 1, 1999, and shall apply with respect to educational 
assistance paid for months after September 1999.

SEC. 6. INCREASED ACTIVE DUTY EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE BENEFIT FOR 
              CONTRIBUTING MEMBERS.

    (a) Authority To Make Contributions for Increased Assistance 
Amount.--(1) Section 3011 is amended--
            (A) by redesignating subsection (i) as subsection (j); and
            (B) by inserting after subsection (h) the following new 
        subsection (i):
    ``(i)(1) Any individual eligible for educational assistance under 
this section who does not make an election under subsection (c)(1) may 
contribute amounts for purposes of receiving an increased amount of 
basic educational assistance as provided for under section 3015(g) of 
this title. Such contributions shall be in addition to any reductions 
in the basic pay of such individual under subsection (b).
    ``(2) An individual covered by paragraph (1) may make the 
contributions authorized by that paragraph at any time while on active 
duty.
    ``(3) The total amount of the contributions made by an individual 
under paragraph (1) may not exceed $600. Such contributions shall be 
made in multiples of $4.
    ``(4) Contributions under this subsection shall be made to the 
Secretary. The Secretary shall deposit any amounts received by the 
Secretary as contributions under this subsection into the Treasury as 
miscellaneous receipts.''.
    (2) Section 3012 is amended--
            (A) by redesignating subsection (g) as subsection (h); and
            (B) by inserting after subsection (f) the following new 
        subsection (g):
    ``(g)(1) Any individual eligible for educational assistance under 
this section who does not make an election under subsection (d)(1) may 
contribute amounts for purposes of receiving an increased amount of 
basic educational assistance as provided for under section 3015(g) of 
this title. Such contributions shall be in addition to any reductions 
in the basic pay of such individual under subsection (c).
    ``(2) An individual covered by paragraph (1) may make the 
contributions authorized by that paragraph at any time while on active 
duty.
    ``(3) The total amount of the contributions made by an individual 
under paragraph (1) may not exceed $600. Such contributions shall be 
made in multiples of $4.
    ``(4) Contributions under this subsection shall be made to the 
Secretary. The Secretary shall deposit any amounts received by the 
Secretary as contributions under this subsection into the Treasury as 
miscellaneous receipts.''.
    (b) Increased Assistance Amount.--Section 3015, as amended by 
section 4 of this Act, is further amended--
            (1) by striking ``subsection (g)'' each place it appears in 
        subsections (a)(1) and (b)(1) and inserting ``subsection (h)'';
            (2) by redesignating subsection (g) as subsection (h); and
            (3) by inserting after subsection (f) the following new 
        subsection (g):
    ``(g) In the case of an individual who has made contributions 
authorized by section 3011(i) or 3012(g) of this title, the monthly 
amount of basic educational assistance allowance applicable to such 
individual under subsection (a), (b), or (c) shall be the monthly rate 
otherwise provided for under the applicable subsection increased by--
            ``(1) an amount equal to $1 for each $4 contributed by such 
        individual under section 3011(i) or 3012(g), as the case may 
        be, for an approved program of education pursued on a full-time 
        basis; or
            ``(2) an appropriately reduced amount based on the amount 
        so contributed, as determined under regulations which the 
        Secretary shall prescribe, for an approved program of education 
        pursued on less than a full-time basis.''.
    (c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section shall take 
effect on January 1, 2000.

SEC. 7. CONTINUING ELIGIBILITY FOR EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE OF MEMBERS OF 
              THE ARMED FORCES ATTENDING OFFICER TRAINING SCHOOL.

    Section 3011(a)(1) is amended--
            (1) in subparagraph (A)(ii)--
                    (A) by striking ``or (III)'' and inserting 
                ``(III)''; and
                    (B) by inserting before the semicolon at the end 
                the following: ``or (IV) for immediate reenlistment to 
                accept a commission as an officer and subsequently 
                completes the resulting obligated period of active duty 
                service as a commissioned officer''; and
            (2) in subparagraph (B)(ii)--
                    (A) by striking ``, or (III)'' and inserting ``; 
                (III)''; and
                    (B) by inserting before the semicolon at the end 
                the following: ``or (IV) for immediate reenlistment to 
                accept a commission as an officer and subsequently 
                completes the resulting obligated period of active duty 
                service as a commissioned officer''.

SEC. 8. ELIGIBILITY OF MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES TO WITHDRAW 
              ELECTIONS NOT TO RECEIVE MONTGOMERY GI BILL BASIC 
              EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE.

    (a) Members on Active Duty.--Section 3011(c) is amended by adding 
at the end the following:
    ``(4)(A) An individual who makes an election under paragraph (1) 
may withdraw the election at any time before the discharge or release 
of the individual from active duty in the Armed Forces. An individual 
who withdraws such an election may become entitled to basic educational 
assistance under this chapter.
    ``(B) The withdrawal of an election under this paragraph shall be 
made in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of 
Defense or by the Secretary of Transportation with respect to the Coast 
Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Navy.
    ``(C)(i) In the case of an individual who withdraws an election 
under this paragraph--
            ``(I) the basic pay of the individual shall be reduced by 
        $100 for each month after the month in which the election is 
        made until the total amount of such reductions equals $1,500; 
        or
            ``(II) to the extent that basic pay is not so reduced 
        before the individual's discharge or release from active duty 
        in the Armed Forces, the Secretary, before authorizing the 
        payment of educational assistance under this chapter, shall 
        ensure that an amount equal to the difference between $1,500 
        and the total amount of reductions under subclause (I) was paid 
        before the discharge or release of the individual from active 
        duty in the Armed Forces.
    ``(ii) An individual described in clause (i) may pay the Secretary 
at any time before discharge or release from active duty in the Armed 
Forces an amount equal to the total amount of the reduction in basic 
pay otherwise required with respect to the individual under that clause 
minus the total amount of reductions of basic pay of the individual 
under that clause at the time of the payment under this clause.
    ``(iii) The second sentence of subsection (b) shall apply to any 
reductions in basic pay under clause (i)(I).
    ``(iv) Amounts paid under clauses (i)(II) and (ii) shall be 
deposited into the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts.
    ``(D) The withdrawal of an election under this paragraph is 
irrevocable.''.
    (b) Members of Selected Reserve.--Section 3012(d) is amended by 
adding at the end the following:
    ``(4)(A) An individual who makes an election under paragraph (1) 
may withdraw the election at any time before the discharge or release 
of the individual from the Armed Forces. An individual who withdraws 
such an election may become entitled to basic educational assistance 
under this chapter.
    ``(B) The withdrawal of an election under this paragraph shall be 
made in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of 
Defense or by the Secretary of Transportation with respect to the Coast 
Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Navy.
    ``(C)(i) In the case of an individual who withdraws an election 
under this paragraph--
            ``(I) the basic pay or compensation of the individual shall 
        be reduced by $100 for each month after the month in which the 
        election is made until the total amount of such reductions 
        equals $1,500; or
            ``(II) to the extent that basic pay or compensation is not 
        so reduced before the individual's discharge or release from 
        the Armed Forces, the Secretary, before authorizing the payment 
        of educational assistance under this chapter, shall ensure that 
        an amount equal to the difference between $1,500 and the total 
        amount of reductions under subclause (I) was paid before the 
        discharge or release of the individual from the Armed Forces.
    ``(ii) An individual described in clause (i) may pay the Secretary 

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