“Advocating for veterans is a year-round effort,” says Ultrino.
BOSTON – State Representative Steve Ultrino joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives last Wednesday in passing comprehensive legislation to improve the lives of American veterans. The passing of this legislation comes a week before the celebration of Veterans Day.
Representative Ultrino has been a steadfast and proactive advocate for veterans since being sworn in earlier this year. He has co-sponsored several bills affecting veterans, including H.2461 which would create a tax exemption for paraplegic veterans, and H. 3057, which would help veterans access health care. Representative Ultrino also submitted testimony last month in support of H.3126, An Act relative to the cost of veteran higher education.
“Veterans Day is an opportunity for us to recognize the men and women who have done so much for our country,” said Representative Ultrino. “But working to help veterans is a year-round effort. I’ve been advocating for veterans legislation since I was sworn in last January, and I look forward to continuing to do so.”
During last week’s session, Representative Ultrino and his colleagues approved a batch of proposals to protect veterans grave markers from theft and defacement and to criminalize falsely claiming veteran status for personal benefit.
One of the bills sets punishments for “stolen valor” crimes, such as pretending to be a veteran, active service member or military honor recipient for financial gain. A separate bill that sets a fine of $5,000 for the illegal sale, receipt, retention or disposal of veterans grave markers was also approved. These markers are often made of bronze and have thus been the targets of scrap metal scavengers. The House passed a third bill which strengthens a law criminalizing the desecration of gravestones.