U.S. SENATE — Just ahead of Veterans Day, U.S. Senator Steve Daines introduced legislation to ensure that underserved veterans get the care they need.
Daines’ bill, “Veteran State Home Grant Backlog Reduction Act” will create a new prioritization system that will separate out upgrades and needed rehabilitation to existing VA facilities and much-needed new construction. It requires the VA to separately designate construction specific budget resources and have a plan to clear up the state home construction backlog by the end of Fiscal Year 2023.
“Montana is home to one of the highest populations of veterans per capita – and our state is in dire need of the proper facilities to provide veterans quality healthcare,” Daines stated. “The VA has waited for far too long to build this home and it’s time we broke ground. Constructing new homes must be an urgent priority.”
In July, Daines secured increased funding for the construction of state extended care facilities to include the 60-bed veterans home in Butte. The state of Montana provided its $5 million cost share for this effort in 2011, yet the project has languished on the VA’s Priority Group 1 list for over five years.