SECTION 1. Chapter 10 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 27A the following section:-
Section 27B. The commission shall offer a special instant lottery scratch ticket for the benefit of Massachusetts veterans and their families. The ticket shall commence on May 1 and continue through May 31 each year and again commence on November 1 and continue through November 30 each year to correspond with Memorial and Veterans Day. The profits from such lottery shall be deposited in the Massachusetts Veterans Assistance Trust Fund, established by section 2 of this act.
Revenues credited to the fund shall be deposited into said fund and shall include gifts, grants, and awards from any public or private entity, or interest from the fund.
During the periods in which tickets are sold for said special instant lottery scratch ticket, the commission shall not unreasonably diminish the efforts devoted to marketing any other instant scratch-off lottery game.
SECTION 2. Said chapter 10 is hereby further amended, as so appearing, by inserting after section 35UU the following section:-
Section 35VV. There shall established upon the books of the Commonwealth an expendable trust, to be known as the Massachusetts Veterans Assistance Trust Fund, the purpose of which is to administer grants, fund additional services, or conduct research relating to, but not inclusive of, the following: (i) veterans’ mental health and substance abuse; (ii) veterans’ housing and homelessness; (iii) veterans’ health insurance; (iv) veterans’ disability benefits, including but not limited to disability benefits provided by veterans assistance commissions, organizations or centers; (vii) long-term care of veterans; (vii) veteran employment and employment training; (ix) veterans’ education; (x) Gold Star family support; (xi) Massachusetts War Memorial Commission.
In order to expend funds from this expendable trust, the secretary of veterans’ services shall appoint a three member funding authorization committee. The Secretary shall be a member and act as the chairperson of the committee. One member of the committee shall be a member of the Veterans’ Advisory Council who shall be appointed by the governor. One member of the committee shall be a veteran representative of the public with no financial interest in funding programs and services, who shall be appointed by the governor. No member of the legislature shall serve on the committee. The committee shall authorize expenditure of funds from this special fund from an application process developed and administered by the committee.
A percentage of the funds, to be determined by the treasurer of the commonwealth, shall be collected from lottery ticket sales pursuant to Section 27B and shall be expended prior to May 1 of the following year. Moneys collected from this special instant scratch-off game shall be used only as a supplemental financial resource and shall not supplant existing moneys that the department of veterans services may currently expend for the purposes set forth in items (i) through (x).
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon passage.
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