CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Missouri Governor Jay Nixon visited the veterans home in Cape Girardeau Thursday afternoon to sign a copy of a bill he made law Wednesday that redirects casino fees to veterans homes.
In the past, most of that money went to early childhood programs, but now the bulk of that cash will go to veterans homes.
Gov. Nixon says the homes need a permanent funding stream because their trust fund has repeatedly been tapped in recent years to offset cuts in general revenue.
The money in that trust has dropped from $80 million in 1999 to just $17 million currently.
Around $32 million is spent each year providing operations for veterans homes and cemeteries.
The new law is expected to generate $36.6 million annually for veterans homes. That's up from just $6.6 million they previously got from casino fees.
It provides a dedicated funding stream for the state's seven nursing homes that serve about 1,300 veterans.
Supporters say the homes need a permanent funding stream because their trust fund has repeatedly been tapped in recent years to offset cuts in general revenue appropriations.
Several state representatives who helped support the bill were at the veterans home with Nixon.
The bill will go into effect on July 1.