Things are starting to pick up again as a new session begins. My staff and I are excited to roll up our sleeves and get to work as I start my first full term as your State Senator. This week marks what would have been the 92nd birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King as well as a very profound national transition for our country. I hope all of you had a chance to celebrate on Monday.
On Wednesday, I virtually met with Robert Roose, the Chief Medical Officer at Mercy Medical Center, to discuss substance use disorders and how the pandemic continues to detrimentally impact people living with addiction. I am grateful for the opportunity to speak with Dr. Roose and brainstorm potential legislation to help others struggling.
Later on Wednesday, my office held another virtual listening session for families who currently have loved ones at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home. I invited family members to share their stories and I give my deepest gratitude to those who did. It was insightful to hear from families about the current status of the Home and concerns that still exist.
On Thursday the Legislature’s Special Oversight Committee on the Soldiers’ Home held a public hearing where I was able to raise many of the concerns I have heard. Members of the administration, as well as Holyoke Soldiers’ Home employees, testified and fielded questions about staffing and labor-related issues among other topics. It is essential that we ensure the Home is moving forward in the right direction, so that our current and future Veterans get the care they deserve.
On Friday I was glad to join the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation in Springfield to help with the delivery of winter coats they were getting via the Coats4Vets program. My newly-elected colleague Senator Gomez was also there helping out and it was great to see all the donations come in that will go to our Veterans.
In this new legislative session, I will also be putting together newsletters from my office that can be sent right to your email inbox. If you would like to sign up for the newsletter, head to www.senatorjohnvelis.com/quarterly-newsletter/
As always if there is anything I can do to assist you, please never hesitate to reach out to my office. I can be reached at my email: [email protected] or by phone: (413) 572-3920 and you can find me online at senatorjohnvelis.com.
John C. Velis