Proposed changes to Hazlewood Act has many upset

KILLEEN, TX (KAUZ) - Representative Jose Manuel Lozano filed a bill on March 9 that would lessen the number of children eligible for the Hazlewood Act.

House Bill 3766 addressed the fact that the cost of the program skyrocketed after it expanded in 2009 to include children of veterans.

The bill will add stipulations regarding time served in the military and add a deadline to the amount of time after a soldier is discharged that the program can be used.

Representative César Blanco from El Paso said he was disappointed in the proposal and intends to fight it.

"I just want to say that it's disappointing that the Republicans are going back on the promises made to veterans. We as democrats and those of us who have served in uniform here in the Texas House and Senate will make sure we push back and continue to honor our veterans," Blanco said.

Newschannel 6's Raycom sister station has reached out to Representative Lozano about the bill but has not yet heard back.

"I am concerned that Rep. Lozano is calling this the Hazlewood Preservation when what it really does is remove several veterans and their families from the program," Blanco said.

Tammy day said she was medically discharged from the military after serving just under three years. She says she and her daughter couldn't have made it through school without the Hazlewood Act.

"She looked at me at the kitchen table and said mom, what would we have ever done without Hazlewood'," Day said.

The proposed bill will add 4 new stipulations to the existing Hazlewood Act.

"It would limit the Hazlewood exemption for honorably discharged veterans by requiring four years of service at minimum instead of the current 180 days. The bill would also disallow veterans from being able to use the benefits after 15 years from the date the veteran was honorably discharged," Blanco added.

The stipulations would also include the removal of the bill from the control of the Texas Veterans Commission and would not grandfather in any current active-duty military.

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