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Regional News

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker files $56M Holyoke Soldiers' Home settlement bill

The Soldiers' Home in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
Jesse Costa
/
WBUR
The Soldiers' Home in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday filed a $56 million bill to fund the class action settlement stemming from the COVID-19 deaths of veterans at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home in 2020.

"While this financial settlement cannot make up for the losses suffered at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home in the earliest days of the pandemic, our Administration hopes that this resolution brings some measure of closure to the affected veterans and families," Baker wrote in a letter to the Legislature.

The fiscal 2022 supplemental budget covers "veterans and the estates of veterans who lived at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home at any time between March 1, 2020 and June 23, 2020 and who became ill or died from COVID during that period."

A federal judge approved the settlement on June 6, and Baker said in his letter that former U.S. Attorney Donald Stern will serve as the settlement claims administrator and "make awards to participating eligible claimants based on his review of each claimant's individual circumstances."

The Legislature is still mulling governance reforms once deemed urgent to improve operations at the home.

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