BOSTON (WWLP) – A conference committee report emerged close to the deadline for the end of formal session, but the bill designed to help military members and their families crossed the finish line just in time.
The bill, an Act relative to Military Spouse Licensure Portability, Education and Enrollment of Dependents, better known as the SPEED Act, passed both the House and Senate unanimously before heading to conference committee.
When the bill emerged from conference committee, it was again passed unanimously in both chambers. The bill overhauls professional licensing procedures to help military families relocate to Massachusetts more easily.
It also allows military families to waive the proof of residency requirement when registering their children in a new school after receiving their relocation order. This is meant to help children more seamlessly transfer schools.
“What this bill does is it says that Massachusetts is now the best in the nation for veterans and service-members families and that’s a distinction with a really big difference, but anybody knows who’s taken that oath to sign up for the military that, it’s not just the service member, it’s the entire family that’s going to serve,” said Senator John Velis of Westfield.
The SPEED Act will also extend in-state tuition at public colleges and universities to military members and their families, establish tax credits for employers of National Guard members, and provide resources and services to military members who were exposed to toxic burn pits and airborne hazards.
This bill was signed into law last Friday by Governor Baker.