The House on May 22 passed a broad veterans services bill, known as the HERO Act, that aims to modernize and increase veterans benefits.

The bill is a mix of policy changes and tax incentives including:
• Expanding the definition of “veteran” for the purposes of some benefits to include those who have served in the National Guard or as a reservist in any branch of the armed forces
• Increasing the annual payments to disabled veterans from $2,000 to $2,500 over two years
• Increasing tax credits for small businesses that hire veterans
• Expanding veteran motor vehicle benefits, including waiving veterans plate fees
• Expanding veteran property tax exemptions

The bill also would expand access to mental health services for veterans and would create a working group to review alternative therapies for mental health treatments for veterans, including psychedelic therapies.

The bill was filed by Gov. Maura Healey last November and has now been referred to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

Written by