Veterans & Senior Citizens
Two groups that I have the utmost respect for are our Veterans and our senior citizens. As a community, we must continue to support these two groups. Our communities are eternally grateful to our veterans and local elders.
Consequently, I have supported “The Home Act”, “The Valor Act” and the “Welcome Home Bill” that gave our Veterans some of the best benefits in the Nation. Massachusetts has led the way when it comes to our Veterans and I was proud to stand with my colleagues as these pieces of legislation became law.
One of my proudest moments as a legislator was working with the Chair of Veteran’s Affairs to have my language adopted that would give Veterans preference in Housing no matter where they live. I was told by advocates that many Veterans could not find housing outside of their current residences, and this language which became law now allows flexibility for housing our Veterans.
In regard to our senior population, I have been a champion who has worked with both Republican and Democratic legislators to bring tax relief to this population, as well as funding to ensure that they get necessary information on programs offered for their benefit.
When hearing from seniors that their real estate tax burden continued to increase at an unaffordable rate, I offered not one, but two amendments that increased the criteria for our seniors to receive more tax relief. Additionally, I offered amendments to our state budget that increased the Council on Aging grants that our Senior Centers receive for personnel needs and funding for newsletters which our seniors receive to get updated information on programs that affect them.
Another proud moment in my career was working with the Ipswich Council on Aging to find a way to get our senior population to their doctor appointments that may be outside of Ipswich. For years, our seniors could not get rides from friends, family or neighbors, and it was keeping them from getting their health needs addressed. I am happy to report that together with the help of the Town of Ipswich, the Ipswich Council on Aging, the Cape Ann Transit Authority and my office, we now have a program in place that helps get individuals from their residences to their doctors’ offices.
Additionally, as I know that the cost of prescriptions can be cost prohibitive, I co-sponsored an amendment that was signed into law that created the Pharmacy Plus program. This program has saved millions of dollars for our seniors and aided in affordable access to their prescriptions. .
Lastly, I heard from many seniors that they could not qualify for the Senior Circuit Breaker program offered here in Massachusetts. I worked with many of my colleagues to offer an amendment that was signed into law increasing the criteria that allowed more seniors to qualify for this important program.
Ensuring that our seniors get information on programs such as prescriptions, Medicare and Medicaid Funding, as well as real estate tax updates, I have been committed to holding many forums to get information out to our seniors so that they can easily ascertain what programs are available to them.