Scanlon invoice would profit veterans, Gold Star households

Massachusetts state Rep. Adam Scanlon, D-Bristol, is proposing a $10 million fund that might be used to assist veterans affected by COVID-19.

Scanlon testified final week earlier than the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs in regards to the invoice. Any veteran financially affected by COVID-19 from March 2020 to the current or who had a dependent affected can be eligible for funding to spend it on “groceries, well being care provides or different requirements, supply companies for the foregoing, for emergency monetary reduction, hospitalization help, medical care or remedy, or some other COVID-19-related help,” in line with the invoice’s textual content.

The state can afford to ascertain the fund since $5 billion extra in tax revenues had been collected final yr than anticipated, Scanlon stated.

Scanlon additionally requested the committee to indicate favor on a invoice that might exempt the state’s 3,000 former prisoners of battle from paying state earnings tax. The invoice was favorably reported out of the Joint Committee on Income over the last session, Scanlon stated.

The Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs additionally heard testimony from Gold Star widows who requested the committee to take away a clause that ends their Gold Star advantages and people of their kids in the event that they remarry.

Maggie Brothers misplaced her husband 9 years in the past.

“Advantages like these enable us to grieve the following chapter, which by the best way should not the following chapters we need to write,” Brothers instructed the committee.

And satirically, Gold Star households are eligible for the advantages once more if the second marriage ends in divorce, Brothers stated.

“It is a legislation that ought to have by no means been written,” Brothers testified. “It is a great alternative for Massachusetts to guide the nation on this space.

Crystal Clunie misplaced her husband Joe in 2014 and stated she has discovered love once more. The legislation is retaining her from transferring on, Clunie instructed the committee.

“It doesn’t enable me to reside the complete life that I do know Joe would need me and our youngsters to have, the one I promised I’d discover a manner to offer,” Clunie stated.

Erin Vasselian misplaced her 27-year-old husband Danny on Dec. 23, 2013.

“I’d be deeply saddened if this was the world the place the federal government selected to economize,” she stated.

The committee didn’t vote on any laws.

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