- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 4, 2018

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer signed a bill granting National Guard members free, full college tuition in response to a dwindling number of recruits.

The new law will take effect in July after Colyer signed it Wednesday, but legislators still need to allocate funding for the program.

Bill author and Republican Rep. Diana Dierks of Salina said the Guard has shrunk by 16 percent over the last 10 years.

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She said offering to cover the entire tuition expense may increase the appeal of joining the branch and bolster recruitment. The Guard previously would cover only a portion of tuition costs.

Dierks in the Army, Air Force and other branches of the military, it is known that the Kansas National Guard has had more difficulty recruiting.

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