SECTION 1. Chapter 33 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2018 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 137 the following section:-
Section 137A. The Massachusetts National Guard family education program (NGFEP) shall be an extension of the National Guard Education Assistance Program as outlined in Section 137, to include dependents of Massachusetts Guard members when requirements are met as specified.
National Guard members may split their state sponsored 130 credit tuition and fee waiver between dependents. Dependents are defined as immediate family members enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).
The program shall be administered by the Military Division which will maintain a record of tuition and fee credit total, not to exceed 130 total credits per service member. The Military Division may issue a certificate of exemption from the matriculation fee and tuition to specified dependents of the Massachusetts Army or Air National Guard members enrolled at any state institution, in a program the cost of which is borne by the commonwealth, and who are qualified as provided in this section. Identified dependents must use their specified credit allotment within ten years of service member separation or by the age of 26, whichever date is later.
To receive benefits from the program, the member must extend their current service obligation or reenlist for NGFEP benefits after completing their initial 6-year military service obligation in the Massachusetts National Guard. In order to be eligible, the Massachusetts National Guard member must be eligible to serve an additional 6 year enlistment from the date of extension or reenlistment, be in good standing and a satisfactory participant in the Massachusetts National Guard, and have not previously used their 130 semester credit state tuition waiver.
No combination of member and/or dependents shall receive benefits in excess of 130 semester credit hours total.
Enrollment of a dependent in a course at any such institution shall be dependent on the availability of seats. For the purposes of this section, ''availability of seats'' is defined as vacancies that exist in a course after the enrollment of all tuition-paying students, and all students who are enrolled under any scholarship or tuition waiver provisions.
SECTION 2. Section 1B of chapter 112 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2018 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 1, the first time it appears, the word “The” and inserting in place thereof the following words:-
(1) As used in this section, the words “member of the armed forces” shall mean an active duty member of: (i) any branch of the United States military, (ii) the national guard of any state or (iii) the United States military reserves.
SECTION 3. Said section 1B of said chapter 112, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in lines 6 and 7 and lines 13 and 14, the following words:- , as defined in clause Forty-third of section 7 of chapter 4,.
SECTION 4. Said section 1B of said chapter 112, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in lines 18 to 20, inclusive, the words “engaged in active service in the armed forces of the United States, as defined in clause Forty-third of section 7 of chapter 4,” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- a member of the armed forces.
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