House Passes VALOR Act II
Legislation strengthens 2012 Valor Act and enhances commitment to Commonwealth’s veterans
State Rep. Josh Cutler joined his colleagues in the 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.”
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. An amendment to the bill filed by Rep. Cutler was adopted to preserve the ability of veterans and their surviving spouses to protect their local tax abatements if their primary home is placed in trust. Under current law, veterans and their spouses would lose this benefit if they take advantage of this common estate planning tool. Rep. Cutler credited Hanson Veteran's Agent Bob Arsenault for raising the issue and helping to build support.
House Approves VALOR Act II, Rep. Cutler Amendment Passes
House Passes VALOR Act II
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