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By His Excellency

DEVAL L. PATRICK
GOVERNOR

EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 483

ESTABLISHING A GOVERNOR'S ADVISORY COUNCIL ON VETERANS' SERVICES


WHEREAS, the citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts established a constitution declaring that all people have "certain natural, essential and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties;" and

WHEREAS, the citizens of the Commonwealth were among the first to take up arms in defense of the aforementioned lives and liberties; and

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth is extremely proud of its men and women who have continued to answer the nation's call to arms to preserve and defend its lives and liberties; and

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth recognizes that its veterans, particularly former prisoners of war and those with service-related disabilities, have special needs as a result of the hardship and sacrifices of military service; and

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth understands the immediate needs of veterans of the military engagements in the Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the needs of all who have served in other conflicts; and

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth has always been committed to advancing the opportunities of its veterans, to ensuring equal opportunity in public and private employment, and to developing services that will enable all of its veterans to maximize their participation in the social and economic life of the Commonwealth and the nation;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution, Part 2, c. 2, § I, Art. I, do hereby revoke Executive Order No. 363 and order that:

Section 1. There is hereby established the Governor's Advisory Council on Veterans' Services. The Council shall advise the Governor and the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Veterans' Services on issues relating to veterans of the Commonwealth.

Section 2. The Council shall review and assess state and federal statutes and programs relating to veterans, and the delivery of services to veterans, including health care, education, housing, outreach, training and retraining, so that it can educate the people of the Commonwealth and their elected and appointed officials regarding issues of importance to the Commonwealth's veterans.

Section 3. The Council may call upon the Secretary of Veterans' Services to supply statistical data, program reports, and other information and assistance necessary to perform its work.

Section 4. The Council shall be chaired by the Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth and shall consist of not more than 35 members. Each member, other than the Chair, shall be appointed by the Governor and serve at his pleasure, without compensation, in an advisory capacity.

Section 5. The Council's members shall be selected by the Governor from the following:

American Gold Star Mothers, The American Legion, AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans, Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve, Gold Star Wives of America, Governor's Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, Marine Corps League, Massachusetts Municipal Association, National League of Families, Organization of Afro-American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Provider of Homelessness Services, Provider of Outreach Services, Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and/or Iraqi Freedom, Veterans Benefits Clearinghouse, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and two Veterans Service Officers.

The following officials, or their designees, shall serve as members of the Council:

The Secretaries of Elder Affairs, Health and Human Services, Housing and Economic Development, and Labor and Workforce Development; the Commissioners of Education, Mental Health and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission; the Chancellor of the Board of Higher Education or another official representing education and training issues; the Commandant of the Massachusetts Soldiers' Home in Chelsea and the Superintendent of the Holyoke Soldiers' Homes; the Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard; and the Director of the Division of Career Services.

The Governor shall appoint such additional members as he deems appropriate.

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs and the United States Department of Labor will be invited to participate.

Section 6. The Council shall meet at least quarterly at the direction of the Chair and shall submit an annual report to the Governor and to the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Veterans' Services.

Section 7. The Chair may direct the Council to form subcommittees to focus on particular challenges facing veterans in the Commonwealth. The composition of each committee shall be determined by the Chair.

Section 8 . This Executive Order shall take effect immediately and shall continue in effect until amended, superseded or revoked by subsequent Executive Order.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 17th day of April in the year of our Lord two thousand and seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred and thirty-one.

DEVAL L. PATRICK, GOVERNOR
Commonwealth of Massachusetts

William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth

GOD SAVE THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS