SUBMITTED NEWS RELEASE
The Wells Fargo Foundation recently presented a check for $10,000 to the Nevada System of Higher Education to help replenish a scholarship account for children of Nevada police officers, firefighters, officers of the Nevada Highway Patrol and volunteer ambulance drivers or attendants who were killed in the line of duty.
The Trust Fund for the Education of Dependent Children, which currently supports six students, was depleted and would not be able to fund students’ expenses going into the fall 2010 semester.
“Supplementing this fund is a way for us to invest in the future of these young Nevadans and honor their parents’ service to our community,” said Kevin Page, Nevada System of Higher Education regent and managing director of Wells Capital Management.
In order to keep the fund available, the Board of Regents authorized Chancellor Dan Klaich in April to request $25,000 from the State of Nevada’s Contingency Fund at the legislature’s next Interim Finance Committee meeting on June 24.
“With the State of Nevada meeting its obligation of $25,000, coupled with the additional $10,000 from the Wells Fargo Foundation, I’m relieved to see that Nevada can honor those families who lost a loved one in service to our state,” said Klaich.
The Trust Fund for the Education of Dependent Children and the mandate to the Board of Regents to pay registration fees, laboratory fees, and required textbooks for certain dependent children was originally established during the 1995 Session of the Nevada Legislature with the enactment of Assembly Bill 443 (Chapter 597, Statutes of Nevada 1995). At that time, the Legislature, under AB 443, appropriated $20,000 from the State General Fund to the Trust Fund for Dependent Children.
Under the establishing legislation, payment provisions were intended only for the dependent children of police officers, firefighters, and officers of the Nevada Highway Patrol who were killed in the line of duty. In 1997, with the passage and approval of Assembly Bill 128 (Chapter 180, Statutes of Nevada 1997), the dependent children of volunteer ambulance drivers or attendants who were killed while engaged as such were added to the statute. Since 1997, the policy provisions codified in Nevada Revised Statutes 396.545 have not been amended substantively. In 2005, non-substantive revisions were approved with references to “fireman” updated to “firefighter” and the reference to the “University and Community College System of Nevada” was renamed the “Nevada System of Higher Education” (AB507, Chapter 118, Statutes of Nevada 2005, and AB527, Chapter 119, Statutes of Nevada 2005).
The Trust Fund for the Education of Dependent Children was originally funded with a $20,000 legislative appropriation under AB 443. At the end of the 1995-1997 biennium, the unspent fund balance of $16,692 reverted to the General Fund. During that same legislative year, Senate Bill 497 (Chapter 655, Statutes of Nevada 1997) appropriated $33,308 into the fund. Several years later, in 2005 the Legislature appropriated $50,000 into the fund under Senate Bill 1 (Chapter 7, Statutes of Nevada 22nd Special Session). Since 2005, no additional General Fund dollars have been appropriated to the trust fund. The only donation to the fund has been $1,000 from the Police and Fire Emerald Society of Nevada on December 21, 2009.
To date, 18 students have received this assistance for a total of $80,382.