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Bill funding veterans nursing home signed Tuesday

Daily News - 8/31/2017

Gov. Matt Bevin on Tuesday formally signed authorization for $10.5 million in state bond funds for a veterans nursing home in Bowling Green.

Reps. Michael Meredith, R-Brownsville, and Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, joined Bevin in Frankfort for the signing of House Bill 13, which was passed during the last session of the General Assembly.

The state funding is a requirement for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to begin construction on the roughly $30 million, 90-bed facility, which will serve 17 counties in southcentral Kentucky.

Kentucky Transpark officials previously donated land for the facility in the Transpark.

Previous efforts to get state funding for the Bowling Green facility had faltered.

Last year, the Office of Kentucky Veterans Centers' five-year capital projects budget sent to Bevin included the funding, but Bevin did not include the allocation in the state budget he sent to legislators.

A House budget amendment restored the funding, but a subsequent Senate version of the budget did not, nor did the compromise version ultimately approved in April 2016.

No timeline on the construction of the facility has been established by the Department of Veterans Affairs, with officials previously saying it could be years before the facility is built.

There are currently four state veterans homes in Kentucky.

According to a study commissioned by the state veterans affairs department, a 20-county area surrounding Warren County had the highest demand for veterans nursing home services, with about 40,000 veterans in southcentral Kentucky.

 
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