On the Issues: Veterans Affairs

In 2014 the Legislature passed an updated version of the Veterans Allowances, Labor, Outreach and Recognition (VALOR II) Act. In 2016 we continued this support by passing the Housing, operations, military service, and enrichment (HOME) Act for veterans’ services.

These two laws included several initiatives, such as:


  • Provided funding and training for municipal Veterans’ Services Officers, to update the knowledge of our VSO force and ensure they can continue meeting their local veterans’ needs.

  • Prohibits colleges and universities from imposing academic or financial penalties against military service members, if their course of education is interrupted by a call to active duty deployment or other service requirements.

  • Protects the public from fraudulent fundraising organizations that falsely claim to support veterans, by establishing a mechanism to certify and promote the organizations that truly serve veterans’ needs and causes.

  • Waives various licensure application fees, for veterans whose military education and training can be accepted as part of their qualification for professional licensure.

  • Increases civil and criminal penalties for the deliberate disruption or protest of a military funeral.


  • Excludes VA disability payments above $1,800 from the calculation used to determine rent assistance for veterans in need of housing, so that disabled veterans are not unfairly penalized for the medical disability assistance they receive.

  • Allows eligible veterans to receive statewide preference for public housing for persons with disabilities. Previously this preference applied only to a veteran’s community of residence, limiting their ability to enter housing in surrounding communities.

  • Expands eligibility for property tax abatements and exemptions, to now include the surviving spouse of a military member whose proximate cause of death was a service related injury or illness, and to also include veterans with a 100% disability rating for service connected blindness.

  • Adds veteran status as a protected class under the statute prohibiting discrimination in employment.