(BOSTON) – State Representative Carlo Basile joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives today to pass the 2013 VALOR Act which builds on existing legislation to expand opportunities and services for military personnel, veterans and their families.
The legislation provides increased property tax relief and enhances employment, educational and healthcare support services. It also establishes a home modification program for veterans to help individuals stay in their homes and function independently.
“This legislation sends a message to our veterans that we appreciate their bravery, sacrifice and service,” Speaker DeLeo said. “Most importantly though, it aids those who have supported us during some of the country’s most difficult times. I’m incredibly proud that Massachusetts leads the nation in aiding veterans and military personnel and I believe this bill furthers that commitment.”
“Thanks to the efforts of Speaker DeLeo, Chairman Dempsey, and my colleagues on the Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs, we as a Legislature have done so much for our veterans and their families,” Representative Carlo Basile, Chairman of the Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs (D-East Boston) said. “This legislation allows us to do our small part in helping those who put themselves in harm’s way to protect our families and our way of life. The VALOR Act II is our way to honor veterans, the bravest men and women of the Commonwealth, and offer them in some small manner, our sign of appreciation.”
The bill also includes the below provisions:
* Allows students currently enrolled in college, who are called to active duty, to either complete their coursework without penalty following duty, or to withdraw and receive a tuition refund.
* Requires the Division of Professional Licensure to waive the initial application or certification fee for licensure for any veteran;
* Establishes a post-deployment council to make recommendations and study mental health issues to support military members transitioning to civilian life after deployment;
* Requires the Department of Public Health to issue guidance to acute hospitals and ambulance service providers to ensure the identification of veterans in emergency settings;
* Extends the award qualifications for the Medal of Liberty and updates criteria to qualify for a Purple Heart, Gold Star and the Support Our Veterans license plates
The 2013 Valor Act passed the House unanimously.