The recently passed bill that guarantees veterans a modern version of the GI Bill of Rights apparently contains some errors of omission that must be corrected. The office of Senator Jim Webb of Virginia who pushed for the bill expressed surprise to learn the bill will not take effect until August 1, 2009 since it was the senator’s assumption the bill would immediately go into effect for this academic year. However, the Pentagon says there is no retroactive provision to allow such an action. The bill also raises a problem for those veterans currently enrolled in the Montgomery Bill which requires them to make a contribution to their education. There is no provision allowing those veterans to immediately switch over to the new bill which pays all tuition plus provides for living expenses.
We assume Congress will take swift action to remedy these problems in order to ensure all veterans of the opportunity this fall of enrolling in a new GI Bill of Rights. They have earned this right and minor errors should immediately be corrected. We are surprised the new bill does not contain the old bill’s provision allowing those seeking skill training to receive benefits. That is a needed provision of a revised bill.