Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. The twelfth paragraph of clause Forty-third of section 7 of chapter 4 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 1988 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out paragraph (c) and re-lettering paragraphs (d), (e), and (f) as (c), (d), and (e), respectively.
SECTION 2. Section 2 of chapter 115 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out the third paragraph, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-
The commissioner shall decide all controversies between towns relative to the residence of applicants for veterans' benefits and, subject to the approval of the attorney general, his decisions shall be final. He shall decide any controversies between any applicant and a veterans' agent or part-time veterans' agent relative to the validity or amount of a claim for such benefits. Any claimant veterans' agent or part-time veterans' agent aggrieved by a decision of the commissioner shall have a right to appeal the decision, after due notice, to the division of administrative law appeals established within the executive office of administration and finance pursuant to section four H of chapter seven, hereinafter in this section referred to as "the division". Any person aggrieved by a decision of the commissioner or by the failure of a city or town to render adequate veterans' benefits or to approve or reject an application for veterans' benefits within forty-five days of receiving such application, or aggrieved by the withdrawal of such benefits, shall also have a right, after due notice, to appeal to the division. A hearing on such appeal held pursuant to this paragraph shall be conducted at a location convenient to the person appealing and shall be conducted as an adjudicatory proceeding under chapter thirty A. The division shall issue its decision within ninety days after the day of the filing of the appeal, except that when an aggrieved person appeals the rejection of his application for veterans' benefits or the failure to act on said application or the failure of a city or town to render assistance to meet an emergency or hardship situation, the division shall render and issue its decision within forty-five days after the date of filing of said appeal. Further review of such decision may be had by any party upon application made to the governor and council within ten days after his receipt of notice of the decision. Whether or not an application for further review is made to the governor and council, the decision of the division, or the decision of the governor and council, if an application for further review is made, shall be subject to judicial review in accordance with the provisions of chapter thirty A. The time for commencing such an action for judicial review shall run from the receipt of notice of the decision of the division, or, in the event that an application for further review is made to the governor and council, from the receipt of notice of the decision of the governor and council. In such an action for judicial review, the record shall consist of (a) the entire proceedings before the division of administrative law appeals and, if applicable, the governor and council, or (b) such portions thereof as the commissioner and the parties may stipulate, or (c) a statement of the case agreed to by the commissioner and the parties.