BOSTON (AP) — Legislation filed in Massachusetts calls for the state to pay the salaries of active duty members of the U.S. Coast Guard for the duration of the federal government shutdown.
The bill, introduced this week by state Rep. Diana DiZoglio, a Democrat from Methuen, would apply only to Coast Guard members who live in Massachusetts and are currently working without pay.
The guard is the only branch of the military affected by the shutdown.
The bill requires state officials to seek reimbursement from the federal government for the salary payments when the shutdown ends.
It's unclear if or how quickly the Democratic-controlled Legislature might act on the proposal.
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said Monday he was exploring ways to provide unemployment benefits to federal workers in Massachusetts impacted by the shutdown.
In addition, three groups—Hope For The Warriors, the Semper Fi Society of Boston, and the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation—are joining forces to raise money for struggling Guard members.
Boston City Councilor Ed Flynn, himself a Navy veteran, told WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe that donations will go to helping Coast Guard members pay their mortgages, rents, and bills, and keep food on the table for their families.
"This federal shutdown is unconscionable, and the Coast Guard members continue to work, even during the shutdown, not getting paid," he said. "That's really un-American. We should be treating our veterans better than that."
Gift cards will also be handed out, and the Mass Military Support Foundation's food pantry at Joint Base Cape Cod will be delivering much-needed supplies for Coast Guard families.
To make a donation, go to HopeForTheWarriors.org.
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WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports