Just in time for the arrival of Veterans Day, the Healey Administration introduced a brand new plan to considerably increase advantages for Massachusetts residents who served within the armed forces and examine if psychedelics might be helpful of their medical remedy.
During a press convention in Braintree on Thursday, Gov. Maura Healey introduced the submitting of An Act Honoring, Empowering and Recognizing Our Servicemembers and Veterans, or the HERO Act, which in accordance with her administration is the primary “comprehensive and expansive” veterans-centric piece of laws launched by a Bay State governor in twenty years.
“Our veterans have sacrificed so much for our country, and this transformative legislation marks an important step toward ensuring that Massachusetts supports them in return,” Healey mentioned. “From day one, our administration has been committed to revitalizing veterans’ services in Massachusetts and ensuring that every one of these heroes receives the benefits, resources and support that they deserve.”
The HERO act consists of 17 totally different spending and coverage initiatives masking advantages growth, modernization of companies, and commitments to “inclusivity and greater representation,” in accordance with Healey’s workplace.
Among the provisions, Healey’s invoice would set up a working group to review the “health benefits of psychedelics as treatment for veterans suffering from physical or mental health disorders related to their service,” in accordance with the governor’s workplace.
The act would additionally up the annuity supplied to disabled Massachusetts veterans from $2,000 to $2,500, present reimbursement for veterans receiving state companies who search behavioral well being remedy, proposes a $2,500 tax credit score for companies who rent disabled or low-income veterans, and waives the RMV charge for veterans license plates.
It would additionally up the state worker service buyback plan from 180 days most to 10 years, permitting retroactive utility for state employees who would profit. The act would assist shield veterans receiving state advantages — often known as Chapter 115 advantages — from dropping these advantages when their federal advantages change.
The plan would increase who qualifies as a veteran to raised align with the Department of Veterans Affairs’ definition, in accordance with the governor’s workplace, and broaden who qualifies as a veteran’s dependent.
Healey’s announcement got here together with the reward of greater than half a dozen veterans group, every of which thanked the governor for her dedication to the lots of of 1000’s of veterans residing in Massachusetts.
“The HERO Act goes a long way in helping veterans of all backgrounds, including reimbursing outpatient mental-health visits and giving veterans up to 10 years to buy back their active-duty service. As an Executive Director for an organization that serves military families of all backgrounds, and as a clinical social worker, I see firsthand how the resources enabled by the HERO act provide the crucial support our veterans and their families need to thrive,” Jeff Chin, of the New England chapter of Blue Star Families, mentioned in an announcement.