State Representative Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) joined her colleagues in the Legislature to pass the VALOR Act II, which builds upon existing legislation to expand opportunities and services for military personnel, veterans and their families.
The legislation provides increased property tax relief and enhances employment, educational and healthcare support services. It creates a home modification program to help injured veterans stay in their homes and function independently, and authorizes the Secretary of Veterans’ Services to establish enhanced training and certification for veterans’ benefits and services officers.
“We owe it to our brave veterans and their families, in the Merrimack Valley and across the Commonwealth, to ensure they are provided with the strongest opportunities and services,” said DiZoglio. “I am immensely proud to support the Valor Act II and pleased to see its passage.”
The bill also includes the below provisions:
Allows students currently enrolled in college, who are called to active duty, to either complete their coursework without penalty following duty, or to withdraw and receive a tuition refund;
Increases penalties for disturbing military funerals or services;
Enacts provisions to guard against charity fraud;
Requires the Division of Professional Licensure to waive the initial application or certification fee for licensure for any veteran;
Establishes a post-deployment council to make recommendations and study mental health issues to support military members transitioning to civilian life after deployment;
Requires the Department of Public Health to issue guidance to acute hospitals and ambulance service providers to ensure the identification of veterans in emergency settings.