May 16
State Representative John W. Scibak  joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives this afternoon in passing a comprehensive piece of legislation that improves the overall quality of life of our veterans. The legislation expands the services offered through the Massachusetts Military Family Relief Fund, assists military families in transitioning in and out of Massachusetts, and increases the efficiency of veterans’ service officers in our communities. “On behalf of the Legislature, we appreciate the bravery that our veterans have shown, the extreme sacrifices made by their families and loved ones, and the positive impact that they’ve made on our nation and its history,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. “In passing legislation such as this, we are sending a message to our veterans that we know they are out there and we appreciate their bravery and sacrifice.” “The Valor Bill addresses several important issues that will promote critical services and continues to enhance the quality of life for veterans in our Commonwealth,” said Chairman James Vallee of the Committee on Veterans and Elder Affairs. “Massachusetts continues to be a real leader in veterans’ services and passage of this legislation will ensure that the men and women who have dedicated their lives to provide for our safety and security will get the attention they deserve. I commend Speaker DeLeo for his continued and long dedication to these heroes.” This legislation addresses the major problem that families face when trying to transfer their childrens’ education credits from school to school as a result of forced military relocations. This bill will require the Board of Education to adopt a procedure to make the transition easier on students. Under law, each community in Massachusetts is required to have a veterans’ service officer. This legislation sets up a commission to study and make assessments on the certification process for veterans’ service officers. The commission will also be responsible for developing an improved training and certification process for VSO’s. In addition, the bill increases the efficiency of the Welcome Home Bill, allows district courts to consider establishing diversion programs for veterans, and requires that only one of veteran status can hold the position of Commissioner of Veterans’ Services.