McGonagle Addresses City Council and Residents

Rep. Joseph McGonagle chose the Everett City Council meeting on Monday night “to address misinformation being circulated concerning the Mass House of Representatives and myself regarding veterans’ benefits.”

Following are his remarks:

Good evening Mr. Pres., Councilors, members in the audience and citizens at home watching on ECTV.  I’m here to address misinformation being circulated concerning the Mass House of Representatives and myself regarding veterans’ benefits.  For those of you who don’t know this, I am the son of a Korean war veteran who rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Reserve.  At a very early age, it was instilled in me to honor and respect all veterans.

During debate of the 2025 State Budget an amendment was proposed about housing for veterans. Let me tell you that Federal and State statue MGL 115, that was created by the Mass Legislature in 1861, already gave preference to Veterans in housing and employment, financial education, medical, dependents, and surviving spouses death benefits.  This was nothing but a spin spot vote, by the Republican Party, to provide a biased interpretation to sway public opinion on veterans’ benefits.  The vast majority of House Members including myself found this amendment shameful that our Republican colleagues would use veterans for political gain, like one of your colleagues is using today.  I and my colleagues, including the Speaker of House did not want to be part of that repugnant strategy. 

Massachusetts has the most generous veterans’ benefits in the nation.  The Fiscal Year 2025 Budget we passed in April included historic levels of funding for veterans.  $7.7 million for homeless veterans. $8.3 Million for outreach centers.  Through MGL Chapter 115, low-income veterans will receive direct support for expenses such as housing, food, healthcare and other basic living costs.  Today this funding is at $68.2 million.  In May of 2024, the house passed the Heroes Act, which will increase financial benefits to former service members and ensure that women, disabled, and LGBTQ veterans have the same equal access to V.A. benefits.

On June 5, the House passed the Housing Bond Bill which included $20 million to establish a veteran supportive housing program, including wrap around services.   Chapter 40A Housing guarantees 10% so called affordable units go to veterans.  We here in Everett took it one step further.  Working with the Mayor and his administration and especially Matt Lattanzi, we secured an additional $1million for first time low-income and veteran home buyers.

I am disturbed to see anyone attempt to impugn my integrity towards veterans without reaching out to myself or my office for a truthful response.  In these challenging times it is critical to avoid politicking and pandering false information.  I hope this clarifies the action taken by the House of Representatives and myself with these false accusations.

Thank you.

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