Gov. Terry Branstad says he will sign the first measure to land on his desk this session, adding $1.3 million to a tuition assistance program for National Guard troops returning from deployment.
The Guard tuition assistance program is designed to pay 90 percent of the tuition for Guard troops who return and want to attend a community college or public university. Demand for the program has been so heavy that officials warned they can pay only about 50 percent. Lawmakers quickly passed the measure to return assistance to 90 percent, increasing funding from $3.1 million to $4.4 million.
At his weekly news conference Monday, Branstad says the state can afford the extra spending because of efforts last year to fix the state's finances.