Sunday, June 16, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

HomeNewsNews Briefs: State...

News Briefs: State Senate passes veterans’ housing bill

In order to increase housing access for veterans, the bill grants veterans preference in admission for scattered site housing units where no low-income family housing was developed.

Senate passes veterans’ housing bill

Boston – State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D – Pittsfield) announced yesterday that the Massachusetts State Senate unanimously passed S.2325, An Act Relative to Housing, Operations, Military Service, and Enrichment,” also known as the Massachusetts HOME Act. The legislation expands on the services and benefits for veterans, servicemembers, and their families implemented in 2012’s Valor Act I and 2014’s Valor Act II.

In order to increase housing access for veterans, the bill grants veterans preference in admission for scattered site housing units where no low-income family housing was developed. The bill also requires housing authorities to exclude amounts of disability compensation paid by the federal government for the purpose of computing rent of a disabled veteran. In addition the bill gives eligible veterans preferential placement in housing reserved for the elderly and persons with disabilities in all communities.

The bill provides a property tax exemption for the surviving spouse of any soldier, sailor, member of the National Guard, or veteran who suffered an injury or illness during service that was the proximate cause of death. The bill also grants a property tax exemption for veterans who have a 100 percent disability rating for service-connected blindness.

The Act also:

  • Expands the Public Service Grant to children of any military or service person missing in action and children of prisoners of war;
  • Allows employees of the Commonwealth who are members of the armed forces reserves and are ordered to service for more than 30 consecutive days to be paid the regular base salary reduced by the amount received as base pay for military service and preserves seniority and/or accrued leave time;
  • Allows cities and towns to appoint a veterans’ agent for a three-year term instead of the current one-year term;
  • Establishes the Office of Veterans’ Homes and Housing within the Department of Veterans Services to oversee the soldiers’ homes in Chelsea and Holyoke;
  • Creates a post-deployment commission to study ways to improve services to veterans who have been deployed overseas;
  • Adds veteran status as a protected class under the statute prohibiting discrimination in employment.

The bill will now be reconciled with the version passed by the House of Representatives before being sent to the Governor for his signature.

–E.E.

Get Daily Updates From The Berkshire Edge!

spot_img

The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.

Continue reading

Community Access to the Arts receives $2 million from MacKenzie Scott’s Yield Giving, only Berkshire County awardee

Out of the more than 6,300 that applied, CATA was among only 250 organizations nationwide to receive the award.

Stockbridge warrant seeks speed limit mandate for town-owned roads

The Select Board contemplated having the board appoint the town clerk and tree warden, rather than residents voting to elect those positions.

Edith Meininger (nee Goldfarb), 100, of Austerlitz, N.Y.

In keeping with Edith’s wishes, there will be no funeral. A private burial service for family will be held at Chatham Rural Cemetery.

The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.