On Veterans Day, state Sen. Carlo Leone, D-27, joined Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and other state and local officials for a bill-signing ceremony to honor and improve services for Connecticut's veterans.

Leone and state Rep. Jack Hennessy, D-127, are co-chairmen of the General Assembly's Veterans' Affairs Committee.

"On Veterans Day, we should all take a moment to thank the veterans in our lives for their service to our country," Leone said. "I am delighted that this year we are saying thanks by signing new bills into law that will allow towns to lower property taxes for their disabled veterans and award honorary diplomas to those veterans who left school early to serve in Vietnam. Each of our veterans deserves our gratitude for all they have done to protect our freedoms and our way of life."

Hennessy added, "The Veterans Committee is truly bipartisan, with the same goals each session -- craft legislation that helps the state National Guard do its job more effectively, and most importantly, find ways to help our veterans transition back to civilian life, get jobs, education and a new and productive life once they leave the military. On this Veterans Day, I am very proud of the accomplishments on behalf of our men and women in uniform."

Malloy said, "Veteran's Day is an opportunity for us to express our admiration, respect and appreciation for the men and women who served our country in uniform, and these state laws demonstrate our unwavering support for this select group of Americans. Thanks to the leadership of Veterans' Committee chairs Senator Carlo Leone and Representative Jack Hennessy, together, we have been able to pass laws to ensure that the resources and services our Veterans and their families receive are second to none."

Malloy signed:

Public Act 13-57, An Act Concerning Honorary Diplomas for Vietnam Veterans: Allows local and regional school boards to award high school diplomas to Vietnam-era veterans who left high school before graduating for military service.

Public Act 13-224, An Act Establishing A Municipal Option To Provide An Additional Property Tax Exemption for One Hundred Per Cent Disabled Veterans: Provides municipalities with the option of expanding the municipal tax exemption for one hundred per cent disabled Veterans, as determined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The state has also launched a new state website created to give military veterans one-stop access to the wide range of services and benefits offered by the state and federal government agencies. The website, veterans.ct.gov, will link veterans and their families to other state and federal agencies offering services in areas such as employment and job training, health care and education.

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