Mikulski Announces New Funding to Support America's Veterans

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U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced the fiscal year 2010 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs spending bill honors the nation’s obligations to America’s veterans, providing $109 million in funding for the federal checkbook for several key veterans programs.  The spending bill provides robust new funding to reduce the backlog in veterans claims benefits, improve veterans’ access to health care in rural areas, fight veterans’ homelessness, and restore America’s national cemeteries.    

“Whether fighting to defend democracy overseas or standing sentry on the home front, America’s veterans have been there for us. We have a sacred commitment to honor all of the promises made to them when they signed up to fight for us,” Senator Mikulski said. “That’s why I am working hard every day in the U.S. Senate to ensure that the federal government maintains its commitment to veterans. Promises made must be promises kept.” 

In addition, this year’s spending bill provides $9 million in federal funding to support the design of a new Community Living Center facility at Perry Point. The current facilities are outdated and inadequate. Their wooden roofs don’t meet fire codes and they had plumbing, heating and cooling problems. Additionally, veterans have little privacy -- more than 30 percent of the rooms house three or more veterans. 

The new facility, estimated to cost approximately $90.1 million, will be a modern 155-bed community living facility, affording greater privacy to veterans and bringing long-term care and hospice care under one roof. The new facility also will feature a “main street,” an open-space area where veterans can socialize and exercise.

“This funding will move along the design phase for a new, state-of-the- art Community Living facility at Perry Point, bringing it one step closer to its grand opening,” Senator Mikulski said. “Our veterans risked their lives so that we may live in freedom. For their service and sacrifice, they deserve the very best care and services in the most modern and comfortable environment.”  

The spending bill was approved by the full Committee this afternoon. In the next step of the appropriations process, the bill will move to the Senate floor for a vote, which has not yet been scheduled.


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