By Bob Katzen
House 153-0, Senate 39-0, approved a new law that helps veterans by improving their access to housing and education and protecting them from discrimination. Provisions include establishing the new Office of State Veterans’ Homes and Housing; giving veterans preference in public housing; allowing cities and towns to permit property taxpayers to check off a box on their property tax bill and donate money, above their tax liability, to help local veterans with food, transportation, heat and oil expenses; and making all children of all prisoners of war eligible for the Public Service Scholarship. Prior to passage of this new law, the scholarship was limited to children of Vietnam War POWs.
Supporters said the state should provide these additional benefits and opportunities to the thousands of Bay State veterans who have served and are still serving our nation. They noted that one in three homeless people in the nation are veterans. They pointed out that one in five Massachusetts veterans suffer post-traumatic stress disorder and 11 percent suffer traumatic brain injuries.
(A “Yes” vote is for the new law.)
Rep. Christine Barber Yes Rep. Denise Provost Yes Rep. Timothy Toomey Yes Sen. Patricia Jehlen Yes