July 13, 2024

Sen. Pacheco co-sponsors budget amendments to increase funding for veteran’s support services by nearly $3.7 million in Senate version of the FY25 state budget

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Funding will go toward Massachusetts veterans organizations and programs

Boston— Dean of the Massachusetts Senate Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton) announces that multiple amendments aimed at protecting and supporting veterans he co-sponsored were adopted into the Senate version of the FY25 state budget on Thursday. The amendments will provide an additional $3,689,000 to support Massachusetts veterans.

The amendments Senator Pacheco co-sponsored include an amendment filed by Senator John Cronin (D-Fitchburg) to provide $914,000 to the Disabled American Veterans Department of Massachusetts Service Fund, Inc. to combat veteran homelessness by maintaining and operating veterans’ homes and providing counseling and benefits, including wrap-around services, to disabled veterans and their families.

“It is crucial that we support those organizations that seek to provide resources for our veterans and their families, especially in regard to their housing and mental and physical wellbeing,” said Senator Pacheco. “For more than a century, the Disabled American Veterans Department of Massachusetts has led the way in supporting the needs of our disabled veterans. The funding provided in this amendment allows them to continue those efforts.”

Senator Pacheco also co-sponsored an amendment filed by Michael Rush (D-West Roxbury) that increased state reimbursements to cities and towns for money expended for veterans’ benefits and for payments to veterans, as well as payment of annuities to certain disabled veterans and the parents and unmarried spouses of certain deceased veterans, including deceased veterans who were residents of the Soldiers’ Homes in Chelsea and Holyoke whose deaths occurred due to the 2019 novel coronavirus.

This amendment increases available funding for these expenditures by $2,200,000, bringing the total funding amount to $70,409,878.

“It is important that we continue to invest resources into supporting the Commonwealth’s cities and towns that step up to support the veterans of their communities, as well as the soldiers’ homes housing veterans in their communities,” said Senator Pacheco.

An amendment filed by Senator John Velis (D-Westfield), which was co-sponsored by Senator Pacheco, provides $75,000 in funding for Vietnam Veterans of Massachusetts, Inc. to aid veterans in the commonwealth with filing claims for medical and financial benefit.

“Vietnam veterans have faced numerous hurdles to accessing the care and benefits they are due,” said Senator Pacheco. “This funding will be crucial to allowing Vietnam Veterans Inc. to continue to advocate for and assist Vietnam veterans, as they have done for decades.”

Another amendment sponsored by Senator Velis and co-sponsored by Senator Pacheco adds an additional $500,000 in funding for the nonprofit Home Base Program, which provides clinical care, education, and training in veterans' mental and behavioral health issues to veterans and family members at no cost.

The program, which is a partnership between Massachusetts General Hospital and the Red Sox Foundation, will receive a total of $2.5 million in the Senate version of the FY25 budget.

“Since 2009, the Home Base program has offered veterans’ and their families a path to healing from the invisible wounds they experience,” said Senator Pacheco. “This funding provides vital support to an organization that is doing life-saving care in the Commonwealth.”

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