SECTION 1. Section 3 of Chapter 115 of the General Laws, is hereby amended by deleting the first paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following:- The Mayor of each city, except Boston, and the selectmen of each town, shall appoint a veterans' agent/veterans' service officer to act for him or them in the disbursement of veterans' benefits by such city or town; provided, however, that in each town having a part time veterans' agent/veterans' service officer the town clerk shall receive applications and assist applicants for veterans' benefits, and shall submit said applications to the veterans' agent/veterans' service officer. Two or more contiguous towns may, by vote of the selectmen, and subject to the approval of the commissioner, appoint one full time veterans' agent/veterans' service officer and such additional staff as necessary, and may apportion the payment of compensation among such towns. The appointment of a veterans' agent/veterans' service officer shall not create a civil service position. Any person who is appointed to the position of veterans' agent/veterans' service officer and certified by the Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services as a trained veterans' agent/veterans' service officer and who has held such position for not less than three years, shall not be involuntarily separated and shall have the same rights and protection granted to any veteran under section 9A of chapter 30 of the General Laws, notwithstanding that his or her prior appointments were for a fixed term.
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