Approximately doubled the monthly aide given to indigent veterans and their widows and orphans as administered through the cities and towns throughout the state. These new rates are still about poverty level and difficult to live on. It is significantly less than what was given to veterans following World War II when one considers inflation. Obvious rate increases need to be made. For example, the maximum housing allowance is only $442. when the average apartment cost is three to five times that depending on where one lives in the state. How is a veteran supposed to find an apartment for $442. per month? There are about 600,000 veterans in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts of which about 120,000 (20%) live in the City of Boston.
Virtually one-half of residents in the City of Boston are affected directly by changes in the veterans' benefits' laws (e.g., retirement benefits, real estate exemptions, new cemeteries) and all Bostonians are affected indirectly by the increased funding for maintaining our veteran memorials and museums and staffing in our Veterans' Service Departments.
Since 20% of the veterans and/or their dependents live in Boston, this new lobbying effort resulted in about nine million dollars in benefits for the people of Boston.