New NC Fallen and Disabled First Responder Tuition Law

The North Carolina General Assembly Ratified and Governor Pat McCrory signed New NC Fallen and Disabled First Responder Tuition Law “Senate Bill 37”


  • Ratified Date September 29, 2015
  • Approved October 30, 2015
  • Applies to the 2016 spring academic semester and each subsequent semester
  • Entitled:  An Act to Provide that the Tuition Waiver for Survivors of Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, or Rescue Squad Workers. . .”
  • Tuition Waiver – The University of North Carolina and the Community Colleges




This survivor benefit for family of First Responders permanently disabled or killed in the service of North Carolina is a good first step – Bill Powers 


New NC Fallen and Disabled First Responder Tuition Law ACT








New NC Fallen and Disabled First Responder Tuition Law Part 1




  • Survivors
  • Any person whose parent, legal guardian, legal custodian or spouse
  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Firefighter
  • Volunteer Firefighter
  • Rescue Squad Worker
  • Killed While in Active Service or Training



First Responders put their lives on the line everyday, this is the least we can do for them when tragedy strikes – Bill Powers 




New NC Fallen and Disabled First Responder Tuition Law Part 2





Transcript for Hearing Impaired


Modified Transcript of “New NC Fallen and Disabled First Responder Tuition Law” for the Hearing Impaired

Governor McCrory: Today, I ‘m proud to be with some of our finest here at the Charlotte Fire Department to

build on our commitment. The first is Senate Bill 37. Today the University of North

Carolina system and our North Carolina Community College has waived tuition for

survivors of law enforcement officers, fire fighters, volunteer fire fighters or rescue

squad workers who were killed in the line of duty or who were totally disabled in the

line of duty. Today we continue to build upon that commitment, supporting families of

fallen officers, fire fighters, volunteers and first responders.

Today, through Senate Bill 37, we are extending the tuition waiver to children whose

legal guardians or legal custodians are law enforcement officers, fire fighters, volunteer

fire fighters or rescue squad members who are killed or totally disabled in the line of

duty. In addition to signing this important legislation, support the families of fallen

officers and first responders, I am proud, also, to sign legislation supporting our National

Guard members. We’re going to do everything we can to support our National Guard. As

their commander, I’m going to do everything I can to support them.

I’m proud that our budget increased funding by 10% to bring tuition assistance for active

members of our National Guard to $2.1 million. This program helps our citizen soldiers

further their education and skills in a system they have earned. This benefit is available

to Guard members working toward a technical, community college, university or

graduate degree.

House Bill 709 expands this tuition assistance for National Guard members who are also

seeking a graduate certificate. Graduate certificates usually require a shorter period of

time to acquire, meaning our active National Guard members can get assistance in

attaining higher education, at a quicker pace, that can help them get jobs and skills


They have a tough balance as it is. The National Guard, their jobs, their families and, as

they want to pursue education, we want to make that as viable a choice for them of

trying to balance all these responsibilities that they have.

I’m also pleased to report, March, on our bond referendum, which every person in

North Carolina who’s registered to vote will have a chance to vote on, that we’re putting

money to help the National Guard facilities. Many of the National Guard facilities are in

very, very poor working condition. They aren’t suitable for the men and women that are

risking their lives, so we’re repairing and fixing about four or five different National

Guard facilities throughout North Carolina because they deserve it. It’s also a good deal

for the taxpayers because it’s not if they need to be prepared, it’s when. The longer we

wait, the more expensive it’s going to be for the taxpayers of North Carolina.

The third piece of legislation I’d like to sign today, pertains to the North Carolina Military

Affairs Commission. What we’ve done regarding the military, I’m very, very proud of

during the last three years. We’ve free … I’m sorry, in-state college tuition for men and

women coming back home from Afghanistan and Iraq, even though they’re not

residents of North Carolina. We provided ways to bypass unnecessary education and

training when those men and women already have the skills. For example, if you could

drive a truck under fire in Afghanistan, I don’t think you need to go through new truck

driver training in North Carolina to get truck certification. You ought to be able to bypass

those rules. If you can do it in Afghanistan under fire, I think you could drive a truck in

North Carolina. These are the kind of common sense things that we’re trying to do to

help members of our military.

The Commission that I’m talking about is the Military Affairs Commission. It’s charged

with providing advice, counsel and recommendations to me, the General Assembly and

other state agencies on issues pertaining to the North Carolina military installations and

the National Guard. Currently, the Commission has 21 voting member and what we’re

doing is adding two members to this board, a current or retired member of the North

Carolina National Guard. Doesn’t that make sense that we have someone from the

National Guard on this Military Affairs Commission? Second, a current retired member

of the Reserve component of the Air Force, Army, Navy, or Marines. This adds further

input and ideas to help all members of the military in North Carolina, including our

Guard and including the Reserves of those wonderful branches of the military.

We’re going to do everything we can to protect those who protect us.

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