BOSTON — The Massachusetts House has two veterans-related bills on tap for its Wednesday formal session.
On Monday, a week before the Veterans Day holiday, House Speaker Robert DeLeo's office advised representatives to be prepared to take up a bill (H 3897) that would require higher education counselors to be trained to handle post-traumatic stress disorder, and a resolve (H 4129) that would establish a commission to study "a suitable memorial to commemorate Deborah Sampson, a hero of the American Revolution who disguised herself as a man and joined the Patriot forces, and the only woman to earn a full military pension for participation in the Revolutionary army."
Under the bill filed by Veterans and Federal Affairs Committee Co-Chair Linda Dean Campbell, the Sampson memorial commission would have until March 1, 2020, to file its report and any draft legislation.
Rep. James Arciero of Westford sponsored the PTSD training bill that would task the University of Massachusetts Medical School with implementing a continuing education program to train counselors at state colleges and universities in recognizing and responding to post-traumatic stress disorder in active-duty and veteran students.
Counselors would receive training on military culture and its influences on psychology; "deployment cycle stressors"; outreach strategies; available PTSD resources and referral methods; and the symptoms of depression, suicide, deployment-related insomnia and substance misuse.
A Democratic House caucus originally scheduled for noon Wednesday has been cancelled.
House lawmakers could also take up any conference committee reports or Senate-approved legislation they receive.