BOSTON – Representative Jennifer Benson joined her colleagues in the House of Representatives to pass legislation to support Massachusetts’ veterans and military families including an important provision to make more veterans eligible for property tax exemptions by relaxing the residency requirements.
“I proudly voted for this legislation to honor our veterans,” said Representative Benson (D-Lunenburg). “Veterans deserve our appreciation and support, and the BRAVE Act continues Massachusetts’ legacy of caring for our men and women in uniform.”
“I am immensely proud that Massachusetts ranks first in the nation when it comes to military-benefit programs and services,” House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop) said. “This legislation sends a message to our heroes and their families that we appreciate their bravery, sacrifice and service.”
The BRAVE Act:
- Designates the Fort Devens Museum as the official veterans and military museum of Massachusetts;
- Designates April 5 as Gold Star Wives Day;
- Allows municipalities to have a parking space at town halls reserved for veterans;
- Increases paid leave for service members from 34 days to 40 days;
- Increases the burial expenses paid by the Commonwealth for deceased indigent veterans to $4,000;
- Entitles veterans who died in active service to an additional $1,000 honorarium;
- Makes it easier for veterans with medical training to become EMTs; and
- Directs the Department of Veterans Services, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and the Center for Health Information and Analysis to study the feasibility of transporting veterans to non-VA facilities in emergency medical situations.
The Senate passed a similar bill earlier this month. Both bills will be reconciled by a conference committee before the final bill proceeds to the Governor’s desk.