Nathan Dowdy

Will Smith

House and Senate Leadership Reach Agreement on the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Program (VMSDEP)

RICHMOND, VA – House and Senate Democratic majority leadership reached an agreement and Chairs Torian and Lucas will introduce identical legislation concerning tuition waivers and the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Program (VMSDEP).

The legislation will fully repeal the changes to VMSDEP and related tuition waivers and will provide an additional $90 million from the FY 2024 surplus to offset costs of the program.  When added to the amounts appropriated in Chapter 2, this will provide $65 million in each year of the 2024-2026 biennium.

“House and Senate leadership previously agreed to a Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) study, and JLARC committed to the study on Monday. This study and the allocation of what will now be $65 million per year for the program provides me with the comfort that we will not place the burden of the escalating costs of the program on other students through their tuition charges. Making education affordable for all students is a priority for us all. The JLARC study and our select workgroup on VMSDEP will provide us with the answers we need to ensure this program will be sustainable long-term to serve veterans and their families,” said L. Louise Lucas, Chair of the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee.

Luke E. Torian, Chair of the House Appropriations Committee stated, “This agreement ensures that there is a full repeal of the changes adopted in May to the VMSDEP and related tuition waivers and provides financial certainty for military families attending college as I had hoped for. Both bodies have listened to our constituents and we look forward to working together in the interim on this and other issues.”

The House and Senate have jointly agreed to return at 2:00 pm on July 18th to consider the legislation. The two identical bills will be available on LIS tomorrow, July 3, 2024.