BENEFITS FOR MILITARY FAMILIES

By Bob Katzen

The House 154-0, approved legislation that would support military families who relocate to the Bay State by providing career stability for the spouses of service members and education for their children. The Senate has already approved a different version of the bill and the House version now goes back to the Senate for consideration.

Provisions include making it easier for military personnel and their spouses who move to the Bay State to get a Massachusetts professional license, if their job requires one, so that they can continue their civilian careers and provide for their families without interruption; requiring the Commissioner of Education to issue a military spouse a valid certificate for teaching if he or she holds a valid teaching license from another state; allowing children of military members to register and enroll in a school district at the same time it is open to the general population by waiving the proof of residency requirement until the student actually begins school; creating a purple-star campus designation for certain schools that are military-kid friendly and show a major commitment to students and families connected to the nation’s military; and requiring that a child or spouse of an active-duty service member in Massachusetts continue to pay the in-state less expensive tuition rate at state universities even if the service member is assigned to move out of the state.

“Anyone who has worn the uniform or has a family member who has worn the uniform knows that the sacrifice of military service goes far beyond the individual service member,” said Sen. John Velis (D-Holyoke) Senate chair of the Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs. “[This bill] is a recognition of that sacrifice and the challenges these families face. The bill will benefit so many military families coming to our state and will help bring massive federal investments to our commonwealth.”

“This comprehensive legislation is the result of countless hours of listening and learning from our veterans and advocates across the commonwealth,” said Rep. Paul McMurtry (D-Dedham), House chair of the Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs. “It not only meets our veteran community’s most immediate needs, it also addresses the many challenges our veterans and their families face.”

(A “Yes” vote is for the bill.)

Rep. Christine Barber Yes Rep. Mike Connolly Yes Rep. Erika Uyterhoeven Yes

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