Friday, February 24, 2017

Bill to fund state’s fifth veterans’ nursing home advances

A bill that would authorize $10.5 million in state bond funds for construction of Kentucky’s fifth veterans’ nursing home passed the state House Thursday by a vote of 99-0.

Rep. Michael Meredith, R-Brownsville, the sponsor of House Bill 13, said the bond funds are a required match for $19.5 million in federal funds slated to build the 90-bed state veterans’ nursing facility in Bowling Green. Kentucky’s other state veteran’s nursing facilities are located in Hazard, Wilmore, Hanson and Radcliff.

The Bowling Green facility—which would serve a 17-county area in south central Kentucky—is approved for funding “as long as we have our state matching money,” said Meredith.

The bill was amended to encourage that any future beds allocated by the federal government or reallocated by the state for a state veterans’ nursing home be set aside for Magoffin County, where plans are underway to locate a sixth state veterans’ nursing home.

Rep. John Blanton, R-Salyersville, the sponsor of the amendment, said that it will help meet the needs of veterans in East Kentucky.

“Every veteran comes out a winner,” Blanton said.

HB 13 has an emergency clause, which means the bill would become law immediately after it is signed by the governor or otherwise becomes law.

The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration.

For audio clips on this and other topics from lawmakers as well as news photos from the current session, visit the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission online. Video clips from the current session, as well as archived videos, are available on the LRC's YouTube channel. To view or sign up for news releases from the current session, visit the LRC's news page.  A virtual tour of the Capitol is also available online.