2020 Legislative Update
During the Second Regular Session of the 129th Legislature (which ran from January - March of 2020), three bills became law that positively affect our veteran population.
"LD 1926, "An Act To Amend the Laws Governing the Maine Veterans' Memorial Cemetery System became Public Law on March 17, 2020 .
The new law establishes consistency between the State and Federal definitions of a veteran, and will prevent the Veterans Administration from denying plot allowance, and headstones, to the State of Maine.
This change will impact a small number of veterans in our state, resulting in ineligibility of certain federal benefits. Those same veterans however will continue to be eligible for certain state benefits, i.e. - state sponsored mental health counselling, emergency financial assistance, state park passes and others. The majority of Maine veterans will be unaffected; however, some former members of the military will be refused the benefit of being buried in the Maine Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery System if they do not have enough qualifying time on active duty or they are not eligible for retirement in the National Guard or Reserves. Although it would be ideal to memorialize the service of all Maine veterans, it was crucial that the State of Maine align ourselves with the Veteran Administration and the federal definition of a veteran.
LD 1882, “An Act To Provide Non-commercial Lobster and Crab Fishing Licenses and Scallop Licenses to Disabled Veterans at No Cost” became Public Law on February 27, 2020.
The law allows any veteran who was honourably discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States, National Guard or Reserves, who has a service-connected disability rating of 50% or more, and who is a resident of the State of Maine to receive a non-commercial lobster and crab fishing license at no cost.