SECTION 1. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the board of trustees of the Home of the Brave, Inc., a 501(c)( 3) non-profit corporation, in sections 19 through 24 , inclusive, referred to as the corporation, may construct, purchase and operate public homes for veterans. Such homes shall be considered “state veterans’ homes.” The construction, purchase and operation of state veterans’ homes shall be funded from available federal and private funds. The primary purpose of such state veterans’ homes is to provide support and care for honorably discharged veterans who served in the Armed Forces of the United States for no less than 180 days.
SECTION 2. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the corporation shall have, but shall not be limited to, the following powers:-
(a) to make and execute contracts and all other instruments necessary or convenient for the exercise of its powers and functions under sections 18 through 24, inclusive;
(b) to acquire, in the name of the corporation, real or personal property of any interest therein, including rights or easements, on either a temporary or long-term basis by gift, purchase, transfer, foreclosure, lease or otherwise;
(c) to hold, sell, assign, lease, rent, encumber, mortgage or otherwise dispose of any real or personal property, or any interest therein, or mortgage interest owned by the corporation or in its control, custody or possession and release or relinquish any right, title, claim, lien, interest, easement or demand however acquired;
(d) to procure insurance against any loss in connection with its property and other assets in amounts and from insurers that it deems desirable;
(e) to receive, on behalf of the commonwealth, bequests and donations that may be made to improve the general comfort and welfare of the members of the state veterans’ homes or for the betterment of the state veterans’ homes;
(f) to apply for, and receive, any grants-in-aid for which the corporation shall be eligible;
(g) to borrow funds, make and issue bonds and negotiate notes and other evidences of indebtedness or obligations for prudent and reasonable capital, operational and maintenance purposes on behalf of the state veterans’ homes ; provided that the corporation may secure payments of all or part of the obligations by pledge of part of the revenues or assets of the corporation that are available for pledge and that may be lawfully pledged or by mortgage of part, or all, of any property owned by the corporation; provided that the corporation may do all lawful things necessary and incidental to these powers; and provided that the corporation may borrow money from the federal government and its agencies, from state agencies and from any other source; and
(h) to take other actions necessary or convenient to exercise the powers granted or reasonably implied in this section.
SECTION 3. The corporation shall appoint an administrator who shall be an honorably discharged veteran who shall administer the state veterans’ homes in accordance with the rules, guidelines and general policies established by the board of trustees of the corporation. The administrator shall serve for an indefinite term, but may be removed for cause by the board of trustees. The administrator’s salary shall be set by the board. The administrator shall hire the necessary employees to operate the state veterans’ homes; provided, that said employees shall not be considered employees of the commonwealth.
SECTION 4. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, veterans desiring admission to the state veterans’ homes shall apply on forms prescribed by the administrator. Admission shall be granted only to veterans who were residents of the commonwealth at time of entry into the armed forces or at the time of application for admission and to the spouses, widows or widowers of eligible veterans; provided that suitable facilities are available. Parents of armed services members who are killed in action or die as a consequence of wounds received in battle are also eligible, as so called “Gold Star” parents, for admission. Admission shall only be granted when the provisions of the rules governing private payment, Medicare and Medicaid eligibility to entitled persons are met; provided, however, that suitable facilities are available. Each veteran admitted shall pay the state veterans’ home in which he resides, as determined by the board, the share of his maintenance costs that he can afford.
SECTION 5. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, all unrestricted funds received by the corporation after the effective date of this act, including federal Veterans’ Administration stipend funds, shall be held in a permanent fund to be used as needed by the administrator for the support and maintenance of the state homes. A percentage of these funds approved by the board of trustees must be placed in reserve for capital improvement expenditures. Upon construction or purchase, the corporation shall operate the state homes as self-liquidating projects until all of the bonds issued pursuant to subsection (g) of section 19 are retired. The corporation shall retain as direct income revenue any stipend funds it may receive from the federal Veterans’ Administration for the state veterans’ homes eligible resident population.
SECTION 6. The corporation shall report annually to the governor, the house and senate committees on ways and means and the joint committee on veterans and federal affairs on or before November 11. The report shall contain statistics of all veterans who resided in the state veterans’ homes during the year and such other matters as the corporation deems pertinent.
SECTION 7. The corporation’s fiscal year shall be the same as the commonwealth’s. The corporation shall adopt rules for the administration of the state veterans’ homes. The corporation is subject to the provisions of chapter 180 of the General Laws.
THE FOLLOWING IS NOT PART OF THE TEXT OF THE BILL, BUT INSTEAD CONTAINS THE MEMORANDUM FROM THE SECRETARY OF THE COMMONWEALTH PERTAINING TO THE COMPLIANCE WITH SECTION 7 OF CHAPTER 3 OF THE GENERAL LAWS. THE MEMORANDUM FROM THE SECRETARY IS AS FOLLOWS:-
MEMORANDUM OF THE MASSACHUSETTS SECRETARY OF STATE IN RESPECT TO THE PETITION OF GARRET J. BRADLEY AND OTHERS FOR LEGISLATION TO ALLOW THE NON-PROFIT CORPORATION HOME OF THE BRAVE, INC.
TO CONSTRUCT AND OPERATE PUBLIC HOMES FOR VETERANS
March 28, 2011
To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives:
The above-referenced petition was transmitted to me by the Clerk of the Senate on March 25, 2011 with a request for a memorandum pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 3 § 7.
The Home of the Brave, Inc. was incorporated on September 24, 2002 pursuant to G.L. c. 180 to provide and promote housing, care, assistance, support and other programs for veterans.
The bill before you provides that the board of trustees of the corporation may construct and operate public homes for veterans. Such homes are to be considered state veterans’ homes and are to be funded from available federal and private funds. The purpose of the veterans’ homes is to provide housing to honorably-discharged veterans who served in the Armed Forces of the United States for not less than 180 days.
Admission to the homes shall be granted only to veterans who were residents of the commonwealth at the time of entry into the armed forces or at the time of application for admission and to the spouses, widows or widowers of eligible veterans, provided that suitable facilities are available. Parents of armed services members who are killed in action or die as a consequence of wounds received in battles are also eligible, as so called “Gold Star” parents, for admission. Each veteran admitted shall pay the share of maintenance costs that he can afford.
The corporation is subject to the provisions of Chapter 180 of the General Laws.
Special legislation is necessary to effect the desired result. This office wholeheartedly supports the objective of the bill. No fee is required by a corporation of this type under the provisions of Chapter 3 § 7.
William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth
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