Romney Vetoed Kosher Food Funding for Jewish Nursing Homes

— by David Streeter

The New York Post reported that Republican presidential candidate Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) vetoed a bill that would have provided Jewish nursing homes in Massachusetts funding for kosher food. According to the Boston Jewish Community Relations Council, that funding would have respected Jewish seniors’ “special dignity.”

Mitt Romney is getting heat for a 2003 veto he cast as governor of Massachusetts to reject $600,000 in additional funds for poor Jewish nursing-home residents to get kosher meals.

At the time, Romney said he nixed the funding of about $5 per day because it “unnecessarily” would lead to an “increased rate for nursing facilities” — even as kosher nursing homes were complaining that state-funding-formula changes could force them to close their kitchens.

“I was outraged,” Jeffrey Goldshine, the retired CEO of a company that operated a kosher facility in Massachusetts, told The Post yesterday. “For the elderly Jewish residents of a nursing home that have always been kosher — they should be entitled to continue.”

The Massachusetts Legislature approved an amendment to restore the $600,000 to finance the kosher meals allowing a “most vulnerable segment of our population” to “enjoy a special dignity,” according to the Jewish Community Council.

More after the jump.
JTA noted:

At the time of the veto, State Rep. Ruth Balser, a Democrat from Newton,  Mass. told the Jewish Advocate that while Romney was advocating for saving money, he was “depriving people of essential services.” …

Eventually, the Massachusetts State Legislature approved an amendment to restore the funding for the Jewish nursing home facilities.