The governor acquired a standing ovation from a roomful of present and former navy service members after briefly explaining the brand new veterans laws she’s filed.
Gov. Maura Healey didn’t take the noticed federal vacation off on Friday, however was as a substitute in Boston to take part within the first Veterans Day occasion of her practically one-year-old administration. She joined a ceremony full of simply sufficient navy pomp and circumstance to suit the venue and event.
“It is indeed a privilege to be here this morning with all of you in historic Faneuil Hall to pay tribute to our Massachusetts veterans and to celebrate Veterans Day,” Healey stated after being escorted to the stage by members of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company.
Healey went on to thank the 243,000 U.S. navy veterans who name the Bay State residence and clarify the efforts her administration has made to enhance their lives since taking workplace in January.
The first and most evident instance of her dedication to tackling the problems vital to veterans was sitting not removed from the place she was talking. Executive Office of Veterans Services Secretary Dr. Jon Santiago, a medical physician and a significant within the Army Reserves, is the primary cabinet-level veterans secretary within the historical past of the state.
“This is an important and special veterans day for us at the Executive Office of Veterans Services. It’s our very first,” Santiago stated.
The HERO Act
Healey introduced the hundreds-strong viewers of veterans and repair advocates to their toes after she defined how An Act Honoring, Empowering and Recognizing Our Servicemembers and Veterans, or the HERO Act, will enhance their lives.
Filed with the Legislature on Thursday, Healey’s invoice is the primary “comprehensive and expansive” piece of veterans-focused laws filed by a Bay State governor in over twenty years. It contains 17 totally different spending and coverage initiatives protecting modernization of providers, commitments to “inclusivity and greater representation,” and growth of state veterans advantages.
The act would up the annuity offered to disabled Massachusetts veterans from $2,000 to $2,500, present reimbursement for veterans receiving state providers who search behavioral well being remedy, and suggest a $2,500 tax credit score for companies who rent disabled or low-income veterans.
It would additionally up the state worker service buyback plan from 180 days most to 10 years, permitting retroactive software for state employees who would profit. The act would assist defend veterans receiving state advantages — often known as Chapter 115 advantages — from dropping these advantages when their federal advantages change.
Healey’s invoice would additionally set up a working group to check the “health benefits of psychedelics as treatment for veterans suffering from physical or mental health disorders related to their service.”
It would permit municipalities to double their veterans property tax exemption, and take away the RMV’s payment for veterans license plates, amongst different provisions.
“Veterans day is not just a day of reflections, but a day of renewal. A day that unites us in gratitude and inspires us for the work ahead,” Healey stated. “That’s also why (Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll) and I, our administration, we’ve made veterans a priority.”
Christopher Reyes, a U.S. Army Veteran residing in Roxbury, stated the state’s $40 specialty license plate payment for veterans plates at all times appeared like a slap within the face. He’s by no means gotten the plates earlier than, he stated, however he may now.
“It’s just nice that she even thought about it,” he informed the Herald.