TOPSFIELD – On Thursday, July 7, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed comprehensive legislation addressing the Commonwealth’s most immediate needs in the veteran community and making necessary updates to service member quality-of-life issues, supporting military families who relocate to the Commonwealth with expedited licensure and school enrollment, creating education awareness programs regarding open burn pits and establishing the Massachusetts Medal of Fidelity.
“Our veterans represent the best and bravest among us, and are deserving of unwavering support from those in public office,” said House Speaker Ronald J. Mariano (D-Quincy). I want to thank Chairman Paul McMurtry, as well as all my colleagues in the House, for their hard work, and for prioritizing the well being and success of the Commonwealth’s veterans.”
“This comprehensive legislation is the result of countless hours of listening and learning from our veterans and advocates across the Commonwealth. It not only meets our veteran community’s most immediate needs, it also addresses the many challenges our veterans and their families face,” said Representative Paul McMurtry (D-Dedham), House Chair of the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs.
An amendment filed by Representative Belsito allowing disabled veterans to apply only one time for local property tax abatement, per municipality, was included.
“Our veterans sacrifice their livelihoods for our freedom and democracy. Oftentimes when veterans return home, they are met with bureaucracy when applying for benefits put in place to thank them for their service and sacrifice”, Belsito said. “My amendment aims to cut down on redundancy and bureaucracy. Veterans and their families come first in my district.”
Additionally, on Tuesday, July 5th, Representative Belsito signed off on a bill to rename a bridge in Ipswich the Global War on Terror Memorial Bridge. The Senate also signed off on the bridge, and the bill is awaiting the Governor’s signature.