Dooner Challenges Healey to
Support Amending Right to Shelter Law

Taunton, MA Today Taunton City Councilor and candidate for the State Senate Kelly Dooner challenged Governor Maura Healey to support amending the Right to Shelter law in response to her statements on WCVB. Healey said the law doesn’t leave a governor much choice in the matter.

“The Governor has lots of choices regarding the influx of migrants. I would suggest that one choice might have been calling Taunton city officials before taking over the Clarion Hotel. If she had, she might have learned how that hotel is vital to the economy of our city. Another choice she had was not kicking the veterans out of the hotels they reserved for the Army-Navy football game. However, the ultimate choice Governor Healey has is supporting the amendment to the Right to Shelter law. At no point has she endorsed amending the law. If she believes that it is the law causing all of her problems, then I challenge her to support amending the law,” said Dooner.

Last week Dooner officially announced her support for amending the Right to Shelter law so that it only applies to legal residents. When elected, she will join Senator Peter Durant as a cosponsor of his legislation.

“Our state is being bankrupted by the influx of migrants. We are spending billions not millions of dollars to house people who are not legally here in our nation. It is unsustainable and it is unfair to the hard-working taxpayers of the Commonwealth. I cannot believe the Governor believes her hands are tied. She is the Governor. She could work with the legislature to fix the law. She has chosen not to do so,” said Dooner.

In 1983 Governor Mike Dukakis signed the Right to Shelter Law. It was passed to help battered women coming from another state receive emergency shelter. The law is now being abused by the influx of migrants which is now believed to be over 8500 families and costing the state $2 billion. The Clarion Hotel in Taunton was one of the first facilities taken over by the state to house them. The city was not informed by any state officials. As a result, Taunton has lost revenue from the hotel and had to pay for increased services in the schools and public safety.

“Massachusetts is a magnet state for our generous benefits, but the helping hand we provide for the needy is supposed to go to our legal residents,” said Dooner.

Dooner is the only candidate to announce support for amending the law. She will co-sponsor Senator Peter Durant’s legislation when elected.

Dooner was elected to the Taunton City Council in 2021 being the youngest woman ever elected to the City Council. She has served as the President of the City Council, and worked to make Taunton a Purple Heart City.

Dooner is a lifelong resident of Massachusetts. She earned her paralegal certificate in applied legal studies at Boston University. Dooner has been actively involved in the Massachusetts Young Republicans and serves on their Executive Board as the National State Committeewoman.

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