FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Natalie Higgins, 978-602-3772, Natalie.Higgins@mahouse.gov
May 25, 2018
House Passes Legislation to Support and Honor Military Veterans
(BOSTON) – Representative Natalie Higgins 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. This bill builds upon the Commonwealth’s legacy as a national leader for the number of programs and services it offers to military personnel, veterans and their families.
“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 said. “This legislation sends a message to our heroes and their families that we appreciate their bravery, sacrifice and service.”
“I am proud that the House was able to pass legislation that aims to improve the lives of Veterans in Massachusetts before Memorial Day,” said Representative John J. Lawn, Jr., Chair of the House Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs. “The goal of this legislation was to expand on the Commonwealth’s legacy as a leader of veterans benefits. This long weekend, I hope we all take a moment to appreciate the ultimate sacrifice our servicemen and women have made in exchange for every American’s freedom.”
“Veterans set the the standard for service to our communities, and I am proud to join my colleagues to pass this legislation to add additional supports for them and their families,” said Rep. Natalie Higgins.
The bill provides new financial supports to families including:
· Creates a $1,000 active-duty death benefit, in addition to any annuity the person would have received;
· Increases the amount a deceased veteran’s estate may receive to assist with funeral and burial expenses from $2,000 to $4,000.
Recognizing that many people who serve in the military have specialized medical training, the legislation makes it easier for military personnel to become EMTs once they return home.
Lastly, under this legislation every municipality in the Commonwealth will now designate one parking space at its town or city hall as “veterans-only parking.”