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Gov. Patrick Signs Mass. VALOR Act for Veterans

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick has signed a bill that will expand benefits and services to Massachusetts veterans and their families.

State lawmakers, Attorney General Martha Coakley, veterans and families of soldiers who were killed in the line of duty joined the Democratic governor Thursday to celebrate the signing of the Veterans’ Access, Livelihood, Opportunity and Resources Act.

The new law requires public colleges to award academic credit for a student’s prior military training. It ensures that veterans who are charged with criminal complaints are considered for treatment programs, if eligible.

It also calls for money to be available to help veterans with business ventures and employment. The measure also seeks to ease the costs of housing, utilities and medical services for families of service members killed in action.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)