Senate to finalize changes to $400M Holyoke Soldiers’ Home bill

Hampden County

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The State Senate must finalize changes for the $400 million Soldiers’ Home Reconstruction bill by Monday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.

The COVID-19 outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers Home raised issues about the Home’s layout and the level of care that veterans were receiving there. After hearing about the tragedy, state legislators and the Governor vowed to improve the conditions at the facility.

Debate on the finalized bill is scheduled for next Thursday. The chamber will be taking up the bond bill 29 days after the deadline set for lawmakers by Governor Baker at the beginning of the process. He wrote to legislators on February 11th saying they must have the authorization by April 1 to stay on track for the August 1 application deadline for federal funding.

The House passed their version of the bill on April 15th, the same day initial applications for federal funding were due. The House voted 160-0 to approve legislation (H 3701) authorizing $400 million in long-term borrowing to pay for a new facility.

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