Two months ago the Massachusetts legislature unanimously voted to give $177 million to upgrade military bases in Massachusetts. Yet those supposedly advocating for people with HIV are asking for so little (a $4 million line-item increase in funding) as Beacon Hill again fails to dole out enough to end the epidemic. They all seem to think that there is not enough to fund the AIDS Budget beyond the amount it was funded FOUR YEARS AGO! But there is money to be had to do what needs to be done, if you demand the state change its priorities.
The $177 million to upgrade 6 obsolete military bases in Massachusetts is part of a state funded effort to persuade the Pentagon to keep them open. That effort includes a “task force” of political hacks, such as former U.S. Senator William “Mo” Cowan, and private sector insiders from defense-industry lobbying firms. All are pushing to feed the Pentagon Pig.
Yet here we are on another AIDS Lobby Day, begging again for just a bit of additional funding: It amounts to a few crumbs. By comparison the U.S. Military Budget is already $756 BILLION! Lockheed, Grumman and the other military contractors feeding at the public trough do not need any more of our money!
In Massachusetts, however, HIV/AIDS and homelessness are intertwined. Each feeds the other. Thousands and thousands of families and individuals are forced to live in shelters and motels – among the states homeless these are some of the lucky ones. But where is the money that will end homelessness and end AIDS here in Massachusetts?
Meanwhile, in New York State, Pentagon Pork is NOT so much a priority. Ending AIDS by 2020 is on the front burner of the state legislative agenda. Not so here in Massachusetts! Massachusetts won’t spend what is needed to end this costly epidemic. They only budget enough to keep keep it rolling on and on. Well Beacon Hill, where is the money for people with HIV? In fact, Beacon Hill, Project Able, AIDS Action, DPH…where is your task force, your plan to end AIDS?