The House of Representatives passed the Governor's Tennessee STRONG Act (Support, Training and Renewing Opportunity for National Guard) sending it on to Gov. Haslam's desk for signing.
The legislation aims to provide tuition free educational opportunities for eligible members of the Tennessee National Guard and support the Drive to 55 goal to increase the number of Tennesseans with a degree or certificate to 55 percent by 2025.
The bill was passed by the Senate 31-0 on April 3, and it was later passed in the House 97-0 the following Monday.
“I’ve had the privilege of witnessing Tennessee’s National Guard in action, both in Afghanistan and here in Tennessee helping communities recover from devastating tragedies. Through the Tennessee STRONG Act, we can help our soldiers and airmen who protect us at home and abroad by providing tuition free attendance for these men and women at our public universities and colleges,” Haslam said. “I thank Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris and Rep. Tilman Goins for carrying this bill and the legislature for their overwhelming support and partnership in helping our National Guardsmen earn college degrees.”
The Tennessee STRONG Act creates a four-year pilot program for members of the Tennessee National Guard. Eligible members will qualify for tuition reimbursement toward a first time bachelor’s degree.
The bill is part of Haslam’s NextTennessee legislative plan aimed at building and sustaining economic growth and the state’s competitiveness for the next generation of Tennesseans.