By Bob Katzen
House 150-0, approved a bill that would expand benefits and increase access to a range of services for veterans, active-duty military personnel and their families. Provisions include reducing from five years to two years the residency period required for some veteran’s property tax exemptions;
increasing coverage for funeral expenses for indigent veterans from $2,000 to $4,000; allowing cities and towns to designate a reserved parking space for veterans at city and town halls; and waiving certain training requirements for EMT certification for military trained medical professionals.
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.
The Senate has approved a different version of the bill and the House version now goes to the Senate for consideration.