Los Angeles Daily Journal
Friday, September 23, 2016
Law schools, veterans to benefit from new law
By Lyle Moran
Daily Journal Staff Writer
Veterans will again be allowed to use GI Bill benefits at law schools in California accredited by the State Bar as a result of legislation signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown Wednesday.
The legislation, SB 1059, was a response to a 2014 law crafted to prevent veterans from using their educational benefits at unaccredited institutions starting this year. The previous law failed to include the bar’s Committee of Bar Examiners as an accepted higher education accreditor, but the bill authored by state Sen. Bill Monning, D-Carmel, does so.
Mitch Winick, president and dean of state-accredited Monterey College of Law and San Luis Obispo College of Law, played a leading role in proposing and advocating for the new legislation that was approved unanimously in both chambers. He hailed its final approval. “SB 1059 restores a valuable veterans’ education benefit that had been in place for decades, but was inadvertently left out of previously enacted state legislation that was intended to protect veterans from the unscrupulous practices of unaccredited educational institutions,” Winick wrote in an email Thursday.
Winick thanked Monning and Brown for acknowledging through the bill the important role of state-accredited schools, such as the ones he leads, in “providing high quality educational opportunities for our veterans.”
Darrin Greitzer, dean of state-accredited Glendale University College of Law, also praised passage of SB 1059. “We look forward to welcoming back veterans who served their country and earned benefits in doing such,” Greitzer said.
Monning introduced the legislation after hearing from California-accredited law schools that had been able to accept GI Bill benefits for many years and wanted to continue accepting them.
There are 20 law schools accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners, according to the bar’s website.
The law authored by Monning, which goes into effect at the start of 2017, does not allow unaccredited law schools registered with the State Bar to again accept GI Bill benefits.
Lyle Moran, Reporter
Los Angeles Daily Journal/San Diego Daily Transcript