MISSOURI (KFVS) - Missouri Governor Jay Nixon talked on Monday, January 26 about his plans to complete $14.5 million in need repair and renovations at four of the state's veterans homes, and to build a new veterans' home.
Gov. Nixon spoke in Jefferson City to the Missouri Association of Veterans Organization.
Missouri has seven veterans' homes located throughout the state that provide long-term care for eligible elderly or disabled veterans.
"For every veteran receiving quality care and services at one of our veterans' homes, there's a veteran who is on the waiting list because there's not enough space," Gov. Nixon said. "That's nearly 2,000 Missouri veterans who are waiting to get access to the care they've earned. We owe it to them, and to their families, to do better. That is why I'm proposing that we move forward on a new veterans' home by the end of this year. On my watch, we will support our veterans' homes and the veterans who live in them."
Gov. Nixon is proposing that the new veterans' homes be part of a bond issuance for new construction, with an estimated cost of $50 million. There currently are 1,973 veterans on waiting lists to enter the state's seven veterans' homes. A proposed site for the new home has not yet been determined, and the project will require legislative action.
In addition to the proposed new veterans' home, the governor's proposed supplemental budget for the current fiscal year includes $14.5 million in bond proceeds to fund repair and renovation projects at veterans' homes in Cape Girardeau, Mexico, St. James and St. Louis.
"With our AAA credit rating and low interest rates, a bond issuance is a prudent, responsible way to make these kinds of needed improvements," Gov. Nixon said. "Because the legislature took the first step last year by authorizing additional bonding capacity for improvements to state buildings, that means we can move forward quickly this year to get these repair and renovation projects underway."
In Cape Girardeau, the projects would include renovation of nurses' stations, restrooms and resident kitchens. In Mexico, the flooring on the first floor would be replaced, and bariatric shower rooms constructed on the first and third floors. In St. James, the projects would include replacing the fire alarm and nurse call systems; making renovations to the main kitchen and the HVAC system; and an addition to the solarium. In St. Louis, the entrance and lobby areas would be renovated.
Gov. Nixon also told the veterans that reforming Medicaid would not only provide savings and revenue of more than $100 million this year, expansion of Medicaid would provide health care to 13,000 Missouri veterans, who are among the 300,000 working Missourians who would be helped.