June 13, 2024


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Funding bill for new Holyoke Soldiers’ Home likely headed to Gov. Charlie Baker this week

The House and Senate on Monday adopted compromise legislation funding a new $400 million soldiers’ home in Holyoke and providing $200 million in bonds for long-term care services for veterans across the state.

The branches accepted a conference committee report on the bill after negotiators announced their agreement on Friday night.

The Baker administration has been leaning on the Legislature to pass the bill quickly in order to lock in a financial deal under which the federal government would cover the majority of design and construction costs for the new facility. An application with the facility’s full design plan is due to the federal government on Aug. 1.

During House-Senate negotiations, the House agreed to a Senate measure tacking on $200 million in additional bonding powers for long-term care services for veterans. The state has only two soldiers’ home: Holyoke and Chelsea.

Of the six members who negotiated differences between the House and Senate versions, all four Democrats signed on to the compromise proposal while the two Republicans, Sen. Ryan Fattman and Sen. Donald Berthiaume, did not.

The House is back in full formal session Tuesday with roll call votes starting at 1 p.m.

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