Chamber-led House Bill 16 signed by Governor DeWine: A win for WPAFB and military

DAYTON, Ohio (June 16, 2020) – Governor Mike DeWine signed into law today legislation that provides better educational opportunities for our active duty military members and their families. Known as House Bill 16, this legislation received leading support from the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.

“These service members have dedicated their lives, careers and families to serving our country, this is the least we can do to support them,” said Chris Kershner, Executive Vice President, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce. “Dayton is a military town. We leverage our community strengths to improve our regional military quality of life.”

House Bill 16 honors the service of our military men and women by allowing any active duty military member and their dependents to be eligible for in-state college tuition at Ohio’s public colleges and universities. This critical legislation will incentivize service men and women and their families to take advantage of Ohio’s rich college network and will serve as another asset to attracting military families to Ohio.

State Representative Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek) introduced the legislation, and the chamber-led lobbying efforts resulted in its passage out of the Ohio legislature in May of 2020.  HB 16 was signed by Governor DeWine today during a video conference with Rep. Perales, the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, WPAFB and local leaders.

This new law will alleviate a long-standing barrier for our military families. As service members are often reassigned to new base assignments every two years, meeting the previously required one year of state residency for in-state tuition eligibility was a difficult task. House Bill 16 makes it possible for active military members and their children to start or continue their education with in-state tuition rates at any Ohio college or university.

The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce believes this legislation not only supports our military, but will also allow our schools to better attract and retain college students in Ohio by removing this barrier. In its lobbying efforts for House Bill 16, the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce highlighted this bill as a win-win for the military and the future workforce of Ohio.

About Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce

The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce brings together more than 2,200 businesses and organizations in a 9 county area surrounding Dayton, Ohio. The Chamber strives to improve the region’s business climate and overall standard of living through public policy advocacy, economic development initiatives and providing networking and training opportunities for its members. Nationally awarded with “5-Star Accreditation” from the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Dayton Chamber is widely recognized for its innovative programs and outstanding contribution to positive change in the region. Information about the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce is available at or 937-226-1444.


Click here to view a short video of the virtual bill signing.

Download the PDF.