Since 2018 CSU-Global has graduated over 18,000 students

(May 20) –  Today, Governor Polis signed a set of bills at Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 1 in Denver that honors and protects Colorado’s servicemembers and first responders.

SB19-194, a bipartisan bill to allow Colorado State University’s Global Campus to offer students who are National Guard Members tuition benefits, was signed first. Currently, CSU-Global students cannot seek financial aid or receive tuition benefits through the National Guard’s state statute as an institution for which the National Guard members can utilize their tuition benefits.

“CSU-Global is a strong fit for National Guard members because it is designed to serve non-traditional students. Many National Guard members travel outside of the country to keep us all safe,” said Rep. Froelich, D-Englewood. “I have a campus in my district and giving our troops the ability to utilize their tuition benefits at CSU-Global will allow them to serve while also working to complete their higher education.”

Nearly 40 percent of CSU-Global students are Colorado residents who reside in 63 out of the 64 counties in the state. Since 2018, CSU-Global has graduated over 18,000 students, with roughly 15 percent of those students having military affiliation.

SB19-167, sponsored by Rep. Tony Exum and Rep. Monica Duran, was also signed today to honor Colorado’s firefighters with a license plate. Bill sponsor Rep. Exum is a retired battalion chief in the Colorado Springs Fire Department.

“Firefighters keep us safe, are a critical part of our communities and deserve to be recognized for their service,” said Rep. Exum, D-Colorado Springs.

The law creates a Colorado professional firefighters license plate where a portion of the fees collected for this license plate go towards supporting firefighters and their families.

“It is crucial that we honor the brave firefighters and service members who have fought for our country and state, or continue to put their lives on the line for us,” said Rep. Monica Duran, D-Wheat Ridge.

Rep. Duran’s bill to honor the service of women’s veterans was also signed at the ceremony today.

Finally, Polis signed a bipartisan bill sponsored by Rep. James Coleman, D-Denver, and Rep. Terri Carver, R-Colorado Springs, extending the Peace Officer Mental Health Grant Program.

“What this new law will do is clean up the grant program to allow greater access to the available funds for peace officers and their mental wellness,” said Rep. Coleman during the floor debate. “It will also extend that assistance to their community by offering training and prevention programs, peer support groups, and reimbursement for counseling services.”

The original legislation, HB17-1215, passed in 2017 and only allowed sheriffs’ offices and municipal police departments to apply for the mental health support funds. They could also only be used for on-scene response services. HB19-1244 expands the allowances of this money to be used for training, education and prevention programs related to mental trauma; peer support programs; assistance to agencies to develop and implement policies to support peace officers; and a reimbursement program for counseling services.

It also expands the peace officers who are eligible for this program. It now includes Colorado State Patrol, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Department of Corrections, campus police, town marshal’s offices, divisions of parks and wildlife and more.

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