Harder’s Corporal Ronil Singh and Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act Takes Huge Step Forward
More than 90 Percent of Bills Fail to Reach Committee Milestone
WASHINGTON – Today, Representative Josh Harder’s (CA-10) Corporal Ronil Singh and Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act passed the Education and Labor Committee as part of a larger higher education package. Rep. Harder’s bill guarantees that all spouses, as well as children, of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, have access to federal Pell Grants. Corporal Singh was killed on Christmas night of 2018 while serving with the Newman Police Department and is survived by his wife and son. Approximately 91 percent of bills introduced this Congress have failed to make it this far in the process, and the bill is expected to pass the full House of Representatives in the coming months.
High-Resolution Video of Rep. Harder and Mika Singh is Available Here
“We have to do more to protect the men and women of law enforcement and ensure their families are cared for if they make the ultimate sacrifice,” said Rep. Harder. “Corporal Singh – and all of our fallen heroes – deserve honor and recognition and this bill makes sure they have it. This is step two in the process – and most bills don’t get this far.”
“It is very encouraging that this bill has taken such an important step forward. Every step in this process is a step towards keeping Ronil’s dream alive. Education is a top priority for our family and ensuring our son has the opportunity to go to the college of his choice anywhere in the country would be a dream come true,” said Anamika Chand-Singh, Corporal Singh’s wife. “All families of our fallen heroes deserve the same opportunity to pursue their dreams, especially if their loved one has made the ultimate sacrifice. Ronil loved this country and his community and we’re so heartened to see the support we’ve gotten from so many people here in the Central Valley.”
Rep. Harder’s Corporal Ronil Singh and Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act guarantees the spouses, as well as the children, of law enforcement officers who died while in the line of duty receive automatic access to Pell Grants. These grants are provided to students who are not expected to have substantial financial support for their post-secondary studies. This bill requires the Department of Education to estimate that qualifying students do not have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) to their post-secondary studies. Unlike student loans, these grants do not require repayment after graduation. Children of law enforcement officers who die in the line of duty currently qualify for similar benefits, but spouses do not yet have access to this support.
Today, Rep Harder’s bill passed the House Education and Labor Committee as part of the College Affordability Act, a bill which would reauthorize and overhaul a litany of federal education programs. The larger package is expected to pass the House within the next several months.
Rep. Harder is a leader in efforts to support the men and women of law enforcement. In addition to introducing and working to pass this legislation, Rep. Harder led an effort to increase funding for federal law enforcement programs, introduced legislation to help law enforcement interact with people with mental health issues, and cosponsored legislation to provide more bulletproof vests to local law enforcement agencies.