House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) has appointed State Representative David F. DeCoste (R-Norwell) to serve on a conference committee charged with reviewing a pair of omnibus veteran bills recently approved by the House and Senate.
An Act relative to veterans’ benefits, rights, appreciation, validation and enforcement, also known as the BRAVE Act, passed the Senate on March 3, while the House of Representatives approved its own version of the bill on March 23. The conference committee will now attempt to reconcile the differences between the two bills, which provide for property tax assistance and increased funeral expense coverage for veterans, among other benefits.
In announcing the appointment, Representative Jones cited Representative DeCoste’s military background as a 22-year veteran of the United States Army, where he achieved the rank of Major.
“David’s years of service have given him a clear understanding of the many challenges facing Massachusetts veterans and their families,” said Representative Jones. “With his military experience, David will bring a unique perspective to the conference committee as it works to resolve the differences between the two bills and produce a final bill to address the needs of the Commonwealth’s veterans.”
Representative DeCoste currently serves as a member of the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs, as well as the Joint Committees on Housing and Public Service. The Norwell legislator will be joined on the conference committee by the co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs, Representative John Lawn (D-Watertown) and Senator Michael Rush (D-West Roxbury), along with Representative Claire Cronin (D-Brockton) and Senators William Brownsberger (D-Belmont) and Donald Humason (R-Westfield).
The conference committee will attempt to reach an agreement before formal legislative sessions end on July 31.
Representative DeCoste represents the 5th Plymouth District, which is comprised of the towns of Hanover, Norwell and Rockland.