Enfield Legislators’ Vets Diplomas Bill Heads to Governor

May 11, 2011

A bill co-sponsored by Enfield legislators which would allow local boards of education to issue high school diplomas to Connecticut’s Korean War veterans who left school early to enter combat was voted on favorably by the State Senate and now heads to the governor’s desk.

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Senator Kissel discusses the Korean War Veterans Diplomas bill during the May 11 Senate Debate

Enfield State Senator John A. Kissel and Enfield State Representative David Kiner co-sponsored the measure. The concept for the bill was brought to Senator Kissel’s attention by Enfield resident Robert Grunert during a ceremony honoring Korean War veterans. Senator Kissel also credited Enfield Mayor Scott Kaupin and Enfield Board of Education Chairman Greg Stokes for their support of the idea.

“Many of Connecticut’s Korean War veterans put aside their dreams for a high school diploma in order to serve their country, and we want those dreams to be realized,” Senator Kissel said. “This was a bipartisan effort, and I thank Rep. Kiner for his work in getting the bill through the House of Representatives.”

Senator Kissel noted that some veterans may have felt uncomfortable returning to school at a later age, were injured or ill, or simply needed to work full time to support themselves following the war.

“They left school early to serve their country and they should not be denied that sense of accomplishment that comes with earning a high school diploma,” Senator Kissel said. “We want our Korean War veterans to be able to say with pride that yes they did get that diploma and that their state cared enough to help that come to pass.”

The proposal would also allow boards of education to issue high school diplomas to families of deceased Korean War veterans.

Current state law allows for diplomas to be issued to World War II veterans who left high school to serve their country.

Sen. Kissel also thanked Education Committee co-chairs Sen. Andrea Stillman and Rep. Andy Fleischmann for their work in moving the bill through the legislative process.