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(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) applauded the passage of a bill to expand benefits for veterans who served after the attacks of September 11th. The Post-9/11 GI Bill package passed the Senate today by unanimous consent and expands opportunities for veterans to use their benefits for education, apprenticeship, and on-the-job training programs. Earlier this year, Senator Murray, a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, introduced the Veterans’ Employment Act of 2010, a bill that would have allowed veterans to use GI Bill benefits for workforce training programs.

“The doors to Washington state’s colleges were thrown open to thousands of veterans with the passage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Now, we can include certificate and apprenticeship programs to the list of open doors for the brave men and women who volunteered to serve after the tragic events of September 11th,” said Senator Murray. “This new package makes it easier for some veterans to use their benefits to pay for tuition at public and private universities, and others who want to enroll in training programs that will place them directly in the workforce, helping us get our economy back on track.”

The bill expands benefits to veterans by:

  • Including members of the National Guard who were previously excluded from Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits
  • Increasing tuition assistance, living, and book allowance, to meet the high cost of both public and private universities
  • Allowing the use of benefits for certification, apprenticeship, and licensing courses