By Keith Ryder, The Associated Press
Boise, Idaho (Associated Press) – Legislation was passed due to the deaths of three Idaho Army National Guard pilots in a helicopter crash during last year’s exercises in the entire House of Representatives on Friday.
The House Education Committee voted to approve the measure that would change the law to make spouses and children of Idaho military members or public safety officers killed in training eligible for college scholarships.
It is currently only available to survivors who are imprisoned, missing, killed, or permanently disabled in the line of duty.
Democratic Representative Chris Mathias said the change could help the husbands and eight children of the guards killed in the February 2021 Black Hawk crash near Boise.
The Idaho National Guard said fog and rain caused the helicopter crew to lose sight of the ground and the surrounding mountainous terrain. Officials said the crew had completed a training mission and were on their way back to the Gwen National Guard Air Force Base at Boise Airport when the accident occurred south of Lucky Peak.
Scholarship recipients receive free tuition and live on-campus including housing and food at Idaho’s public colleges and universities as well as $500 per semester for books, according to the Idaho State Board of Education.
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