For Immediate Release - November 16, 2011

Governor Patrick Signs $51.9 Million Supplemental Budget

Bill boosts funding for veteran’s services across the Commonwealth

BOSTON – Friday November 11, 2011 -- Governor Deval Patrick today signed a $51.9 million supplemental budget bill that provides funding to sustain essential state services and programs this fiscal year and to provide for unavoidable and unanticipated costs.

The bill includes $21 million for the Department of Housing and Community Development’s emergency assistance (EA) program, which provides shelter and other emergency housing services to low-income families with children, and to pregnant women, who are homeless.

In addition the bill includes $10 million for a reserve fund to reimburse state agencies for costs incurred responding to the natural disaster, including emergency management, roadwork, debris removal, housing, and aid during and after Tropical Storm Irene.

The bill also boosts funding for veteran’s services across the Commonwealth and provides an additional $700,000 in “Welcome Home Bonuses” for veterans returning home from overseas.

Last week, the Patrick-Murray Administration announced a comprehensive plan to enhance services for veterans, including re-employment and training of veterans of all eras, especially those returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Declaring November as “Hire A Veteran Month,” the Administration is also partnering with a number of trade associations committed to encouraging their member employers to hire veterans for open positions and educate companies of available financial benefits for hiring veterans. 

The legislation directs $308,000 in additional funds to the Department of Veterans Services to provide outreach services to veterans in the Commonwealth, which is essential to making sure veterans understand what benefits and services are available to them at both the state and federal level.

Other funding items in the supplemental budget bill include:

  • $18.2 million for the Department of Housing and Community Development’s HomeBase program;
  • $10 million to reimburse cities and towns for a portion of the costs incurred in responding to Tropical Storm Irene; and
  • $200,000 for Line of Duty Death Benefits.