Houston Matters

Should Tuition Benefits for Texas Vets Extend to Those Who Lived Elsewhere When They Enlisted?

The Hazlewood Act in Texas provides veterans (and some children of veterans) exemptions from some tuition and fee charges at public colleges and universities here. It’s awarded regardless of financial need. But historically, it has required the veteran to be a resident of Texas at enlistment. That wasn’t the case for Keith Harris. He enlisted before […]

The Hazlewood Act in Texas provides veterans (and some children of veterans) exemptions from some tuition and fee charges at public colleges and universities here. It’s awarded regardless of financial need. But historically, it has required the veteran to be a resident of Texas at enlistment.

That wasn’t the case for Keith Harris. He enlisted before moving to Texas in 2004. He sued, stipulating the law violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Last week, U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein Jr. agreed.

Houston Matters discusses how and why this is a Constitutional issue and what the repercussions might be of the judge’s ruling essentially expanding the tuition exemption to all veterans who establish residency in Texas, at any time before, during or after their military service.

We welcome your questions for John Boerstler from the Lone Star Veterans Association, and Charles “Rocky” Rhodes, a Professor of Law at South Texas College of Law.

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