(The Center Square) – A new veterans council is being established in Massachusetts through an executive order.
Democratic Gov. Maura Healey inked Executive Order 613, creating the Governor’s Advisory Council on Veterans’ Services on Friday. The council will advocate for the rights and well-being of veterans and their families.
“Today’s announcement signifies a major step in amplifying the voices and influence of Massachusetts’ veterans,” Healey said in a statement. “In the few months since we established the Executive Office of Veterans’ Services and appointed Secretary Santiago, we’ve made important progress in improving the state’s support for and engagement with veterans and their families. This council represents another step forward in our mission to prioritize the diverse experiences of our service members and will play a crucial role in our efforts to elevate veterans’ services statewide.”
According to a release, the council will expand on the work of Secretary Jon Santiago, the first secretary of the Executive Office of Veterans’ Services, in providing current programs, services and regulations for veterans.
“The Healey-Driscoll administration and the Executive Office of Veterans’ Services stand firmly committed to supporting and engaging veterans of all backgrounds and ZIP codes,” Santiago said in a statement. “The membership of this esteemed council will encompass the diverse range of experiences among thousands of service members across our state.”
According to a release, Santiago will serve as an ex-officio member of the council to be informed on what it is working on in its capacity. Healey will appoint members and leadership of the council.
According to a release, the executive order will supersede Executive Order 573 to begin a new chapter for innovation and progress. Each council member, once appointed, will serve at the governor’s discretion in an advisory capacity for a three-year term. The council will meet quarterly and, every two years, will provide a comprehensive written report detailing the council’s work.