Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Senator Knapik Blasts Governor Patrick's Decision to Veto Funds for Soldiers Homes

Senator Michael R. Knapik is criticizing Governor Patrick's latest move to cut funding for the state's two Soldiers' Homes.

Last month, Governor Patrick made devastating budget cuts to the Soldiers' Homes in Holyoke and Chelsea, which together service tens of thousands of the Commonwealth's aging veterans. Since then, efforts by the Senate Republican Caucus to draw attention to the veterans' plight resulted in the inclusion of $500,000 for each facility in a supplemental budget sent to the governor last week. Yesterday, the governor vetoed this funding.

"It is outrageous that the governor chose to target the Soldiers' Homes so disproportionately in his cuts," said Senator Knapik. "I am extremely disappointed in the governor's veto of the funding approved by the Legislature last week, which would have only partially made up for the October cuts but maintained some of the health services veterans depend on. In Holyoke, a budget reduction of this magnitude will result in the loss of outpatient services for over 2,000 veterans. This is completely unacceptable in light of the sacrifices these brave men and women have made in defense of the United States."