Bill Improves Benefits and Services for Veterans, Active Military Members and Families
BOSTON – Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) announced that the Senate unanimously passed legislation known as “The BRAVE Act” that will expand benefits and increase access to a range of services for veterans, active-duty military and their families.
“This bill seeks to support and honor those who have given themselves in service to our Nation,” said Senator Moore. “The provisions of the legislation also reaffirm our deep appreciation to the men and women of our Armed Forces, and their families. I am proud to join members of the Senate in passing this bill, and celebrating veterans’ contributions to promote freedom on the home-front and abroad.”
The legislation designates the 5th day of April as ‘Gold Star Wives Day’ and the last Sunday in September as ‘Gold Star Mothers and Families Day’ and directs cities and towns to designate reserved parking for veterans at all city and town halls.
A Moore-championed provision was also included to help ease the costs of housing, the legislation changes the requirement for veterans to receive property tax exemptions from residing in the Commonwealth for five years down to two years.
The bill grants paid military leave for those called to duty by the armed forces for up to 40 days for training and operation purposes. It also increases the amount a veteran can earn on their property tax exemption for volunteering in their city or town.
The BRAVE Act increases the burial expense paid by commonwealth from $2,000 to $4,000 for indigent veterans to receive to adequately provide for a dignified funeral. It also exempts any veterans who receive annuities for service to their country from income calculations when applying for state programs or services.
The bill also addresses the following by:
- Addressing emergency medical transportation reimbursements;
- Revising Veteran Court Diversion programs;
- Updating the veteran bonus program at the State Treasurer’s Office, and;
- Provides several studies and analysis regarding higher education, incarcerated veterans, and National Guard recognition.
The BRAVE Act, S.2464, will now go to the House of Representatives for consideration. To continue tracking the legislation, please visit the Legislature's website by clicking below.