Assemblymember Monica P. Wallace (D-Lancaster) announced that a bill she cosponsored to provide an annual increase in the rate of compensation for Gold Star Parents who have lost a child in the armed services during a time of war (A.2799-A) has been signed into law by the governor.
Service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country deserve the utmost honor and respect for their heroism, bravery, and patriotism, said Wallace. The parents of these courageous fallen heroes deserve to be commended and honored in the name of their children and their service to our country.
The new law amends the current Gold Star Annuity Program to allow for an annual increase in the annuity payment equal to the percentage increase of benefits set by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to this bills passage, the Gold Star annuity was set at a fixed rate of $500 per parent with no provision for an annual increase. This marks the first eligible increase in the annuity payment since the program was implemented in 2008.
The new legislation also eliminates the previously set cap of $1,000 or two payments of $500 under the former structure - on annuity payments, which caused difficult situations in cases where a deceased service member was survived by more than two parents. Wallace had been working on remedying this problem throughout her first term in office.
Every situation regarding families is different, and parenting, regardless of blood-relation, is special and knows no bounds, said Wallace. Any parent who raises a child who serves in our nations military understands and instills in their children the values and commitment necessary to defend our country. Parents of those who fall in defense of our country should be recognized and honored for the service and sacrifices of the heroes they raised.