Idaho Gov. Brad Little has signed into law legislation prompted by the deaths of three Idaho Army National Guard pilots killed in a helicopter crash during a training exercise last year.
The Republican governor on Tuesday signed the measure in a private ceremony with the families of those killed in the crash.
The measure sponsored by Democratic Rep. Chris Mathias changes the law to make the spouses and children of Idaho military personnel or public safety officers killed during training eligible for college scholarships.
Mathias is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran who sought the change after attending a memorial service last year for the pilots who died and finding out the Idaho scholarship didn’t apply to those killed in training.
It’s important that we make sure that we continue to give back to the military families that have paid the ultimate sacrifice,” Mathias said Wednesday. “This scholarship, the freedom scholarship, is a really generous package.”
Idaho’s Armed Forces and Public Safety Officer Dependent Scholarship was previously only available to survivors of those imprisoned, missing, killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty.
The Idaho National Guard said fog and precipitation caused the helicopter crew to lose visual sight of the ground and surrounding mountainous terrain.
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