Bill S6677-2013

Extends tuition free course benefits to volunteer firefighters or volunteer ambulance workers

Extends tuition free course benefits to volunteer firefighters or voluntary ambulance workers, and authorizes the board of trustees of the state university to regulate the conferral of such benefits.

Details

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  • Feb 26, 2014: REFERRED TO HIGHER EDUCATION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S6677

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to extending certain benefits to active volunteer firefighters and active volunteer ambulance workers

PURPOSE: To allow active volunteer firefighters and active volunteer ambulance workers to audit courses at the State University of New York (SUNY) and at community colleges on a tuition-free basis.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill amends section 355 of the education law to allow active volunteer firefighters and active volunteer ambulance workers to audit courses at SUNY schools without tuition, examination, grading or credit.

Section 2 of the bill amends section 6303 of the education law to allow active volunteer firefighters and active volunteer ambulance workers to audit courses at community colleges without tuition, examination, grading or credit.

Section 3 of the bill is the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: Under current law, persons that are 60 or older are permitted to audit courses at SUNY schools and community colleges without tuition, examination, grading or credit. This benefit is available on a space available basis. This legislation simply extends this benefit to New York State residents that are active volunteer firefighters or active volunteer ambulance workers. This bill also authorizes the board of trustees of the state university to develop rules that would allow schools to award credit for such audited courses, if such a school desired to do so.

This legislation will provide a number of benefits to the volunteer fire service. First, it will serve as an incentive for current volunteers to continue their service. This is especially true for those who may be contemplating leaving the volunteer fire service to further their education for career purposes. Second, the bill will serve as an incentive for younger individuals to join their local volunteer fire department or ambulance company. By providing an opportunity for younger individuals to take a course at the local college, this bill will attract individuals who may not otherwise consider joining their local volunteer organizations. Third, this bill will also provide a meaningful higher education opportunity which could lead to pursuit of a degree. Ultimately, this bill will provide for a stronger volunteer fire service to protect our residents and communities.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the 90th day after it shall have become a law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6677 IN SENATE February 26, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. MAZIARZ -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Higher Education AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to extending certain benefits to active volunteer firefighters and active volunteer ambu- lance workers THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subparagraph 1 of paragraph h of subdivision 2 of section 355 of the education law, as separately amended by chapters 552 and 616 of the laws of 1985, is amended to read as follows: (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other general, special or local law, rule or regulation, such regulations may permit persons sixty years of age or over, OR RESIDENTS WHO SERVE AS ACTIVE VOLUNTEER FIRE- FIGHTERS AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION TWO HUNDRED FIFTEEN OF THE GENERAL MUNICIPAL LAW, OR AS ACTIVE VOLUNTEER AMBULANCE WORKERS AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FOURTEEN OF SECTION TWO HUNDRED NINETEEN-K OF THE GENERAL MUNICIPAL LAW to audit courses given therein without tuition, examination, grading or credit therefor upon a space available basis, as determined by the president of each such institution, provided that such audit attendance does not deny course attendance at a state-operated institution by an individual who is otherwise qualified under the regu- lations promulgated pursuant to this section. THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE STATE UNIVERSITY MAY PRESCRIBE REGULATIONS TO AUTHORIZE THE GRANTING OF COURSE CREDIT FOR SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF AN AUDITED COURSE BY AN ACTIVE VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER OR AN ACTIVE VOLUNTEER AMBULANCE WORKER. PURSUANT TO SUCH REGULATIONS, EACH SUCH INSTITUTION MAY, AS DETERMINED BY ITS PRESIDENT, AWARD CREDIT FOR SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF SUCH AN AUDITED COURSE BY AN ACTIVE VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER OR AN ACTIVE VOLUNTEER AMBULANCE WORKER THAT IS CURRENTLY ENROLLED AS A FULL-TIME OR PART-TIME STUDENT IN SUCH INSTITUTION OR THAT LATER BECOMES ENROLLED AS A FULL-TIME OR PART-TIME STUDENT IN SUCH INSTITUTION. S 2. Subdivision 5 of section 6303 of the education law, as amended by chapter 552 of the laws of 1984, is amended to read as follows:
5. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other general, special or local law, rule or regulation, community colleges may permit persons sixty years of age or over, OR RESIDENTS WHO SERVE AS ACTIVE VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION TWO HUNDRED FIFTEEN OF THE GENERAL MUNICIPAL LAW, OR AS ACTIVE VOLUNTEER AMBULANCE WORKERS AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FOURTEEN OF SECTION TWO HUNDRED NINE- TEEN-K OF THE GENERAL MUNICIPAL LAW to audit courses given therein with- out tuition, examination, grading or credit therefor upon a space avail- able basis, subject to the provisions of section sixty-three hundred four of this [chapter] ARTICLE, as determined by the president of each such institution, provided that such audit attendance does not deny course attendance at a community college by an individual who is other- wise qualified under the regulations and the provisions of section sixty-three hundred four of this [chapter] ARTICLE. THE BOARD OF TRUS- TEES OF THE STATE UNIVERSITY MAY PRESCRIBE REGULATIONS TO AUTHORIZE THE GRANTING OF COURSE CREDIT FOR SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF AN AUDITED COURSE BY AN ACTIVE VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER OR AN ACTIVE VOLUNTEER AMBULANCE WORKER. PURSUANT TO SUCH REGULATIONS, EACH SUCH INSTITUTION MAY, AS DETERMINED BY ITS PRESIDENT, AWARD CREDIT FOR SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF SUCH AN AUDITED COURSE BY AN ACTIVE VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER OR AN ACTIVE VOLUNTEER AMBULANCE WORKER THAT IS CURRENTLY ENROLLED AS A FULL-TIME OR PART-TIME STUDENT IN SUCH INSTITUTION OR THAT LATER BECOMES ENROLLED AS A FULL-TIME OR PART-TIME STUDENT IN SUCH INSTITUTION. The provisions of this paragraph shall not affect any state aid to community colleges granted pursuant to THIS article [one hundred twenty-six of this chap- ter]. S 3. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.

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