Sen. L’Italien Lauds Passage of Veterans Bills

Sen. Barbara L’Italien joins Reps. Frank A. Moran and James J. Lyons at a Veterans Day ceremony at Ballardvale Green in Andover.

Massachusetts Sen. Barbara L’Italien (D-Andover) praised the legislature’s passage of several veterans-related bills at the end of this year’s formal session.

The Massachusetts House and Senate passed several bills providing new benefits to veterans and sent them to Governor Charlie Baker for his signature, according to a statement. They include a “Stolen Valor Act,” which criminalizes the practice of falsely representing oneself as military personnel, a veteran or a recipient of specific military honors in order to receive money, property or a tangible benefit. This crime would be punishable by a fine of $1,000 and imprisonment of not more than one year. Another bill provides free park access to Purple Heart recipients in Massachusetts. It waives entrance or parking fees at state parks, forests and reservations for recipients of the Purple Heart, which is awarded to those who are injured or killed while serving in the military. Under current law, only disabled veterans or handicapped persons whose vehicles bear distinctive license plates receive free access to state parks.

“Honoring and protecting those who have fought for our country is one of our most important obligations as legislators and as citizens,” said L’Italien, who represents Andover, Lawrence, Tewksbury and Dracut.

Other bills passed last week by the senate to help veterans impose additional fines and penalties for destruction of veterans’ gravesites, including the destruction or removal of gravestones and grave-markers and the removal or destruction of veteran, police, and firefighter commemorative flag-holders and flags.

“All people who die in service to this country deserve the decency and respect of a properly marked and maintained burial site,” L’Italien said.  “This is the least we can do to honor those who make the ultimate sacrifice for our country.”

The senate also used the last day of the formal session to bolster its long list of accomplishments from the past year by passing bills tackling fentanyl trafficking, promoting healthy youth, and protecting workers and students privacy when asked for their social media passwords from employers or education institutions.

The legislature will continue with informal sessions and committee hearings, but are not expected to resume formal sessions until early January.

Other bills, passed by the Senate only, include “An Act Relative to Healthy Youth,” which requires each school district, public school and charter school that offers sexual health education to “provide medically accurate, age-appropriate education.” Also, “An Act to Promote Quality Physical Education,” updates the current statutory requirement that physical education be taught in all public schools to include charter schools. According to a statement, the bill re-defines physical education to “include physical activity, fitness, nutrition and wellness and requires physical education to be age appropriate and evidence-based.”

One thought on “Sen. L’Italien Lauds Passage of Veterans Bills

  1. “Honoring and protecting those who have fought for our country is one of our most important obligations as legislators and as citizens,” said L’Italien, who represents Andover, Lawrence, Tewksbury and Dracut. –

    This is the kind of BS our State Legislators espouse continually, especially around, on, or near Veterans Day.

    Of course all of it is a lie because if they were really truly interested in helping Veterans in The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, they would enforce the federal mandate for receivers of social benefits to provide Social Security Numbers. Massachusetts ignores this requirement which in turn allows illegal invaders to go ahead of Veterans as recipients for those in need. We all know though, illegal invaders are encouraged to stay here, as both past and current Massachusetts Attorney Generals care not about the rule of law, nor does the past and present Governor(s). The usurpation and ignorance of federal law can openly be flaunted in Massachusetts with the acceptance of “Sanctuary Cities”, yet these deceivers still claim they support our Veterans. These invaders are allowed to legally steal valuable monetary and social resources from Americans and the Veterans these deceitful ideologue politicians claim they support through their own complicity.

    These “Representatives” are deceivers, and only talk this crap to make it appear that they care, but their ACTIONS say otherwise. Voters, thanks in part to massive gerrymandering, continue to elect these frauds who do them and their families harm, and in this case, completely lie about those they claim to support, Veterans.