Jenkins is nice to military this time

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After Senate Majority Leader Scott Jenkins caught flak earlier for a blunt attack on a proposed property tax break for military members, he led the charge Wednesday for a college tuition perk for them.

Jenkins, R-Plain City, was the Senate sponsor of HB156, which the Senate endorsed 20-7 on a preliminary floor test, sending it to a final vote.

It would allow reservists who are assigned to Utah to pay in-state college tuition. Military veterans who have been honorably discharged in the past year and are taking steps to establish residency in Utah could also pay in-state tuition.

Jenkins was criticized earlier for opposing a bill to waive property taxes temporarily on the homes of Utah military members deployed out of state. He gave an angry speech saying the military already enjoys "all kinds of breaks. We pay for their clothing. We allow them to shop at the PX [post exchange]. And now ... you want me to pay for their taxes on their primary residence. I'm just saying enough."

Jenkins, a former member of the National Guard, said he supports the tuition break because it does not raise taxes on other people. Also, he said it helps the Guard and reserves attract recruits by offering tuition assistance.

Lee Davidson