Bi-Partisan legislation aims to build veterans nursing home

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — The combined efforts of West Virginia Republicans and Democrats could help those who have served. On Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019 Del. Mick Bates (D-Raleigh) announced he is teaming up with Republican Delegates Jeffrey Pack, Brandon Steele and Chris Toney. They are drafting legislation to help fund a veterans nursing facility in Beckley.

Del. Bates said the bill will be introduced in the upcoming regular session. It would direct $14 million from this year’s budget to the Veterans Home Contribution Fund. The money would come from the unappropriated lottery net profit surplus.

The state’s portion represents about 35-percent of the total cost. Another $26 million would come from a federal match.

“It is important to act now because the likelihood of that federal match decreases with the large budget deficits that we face on the national level,” Bates said.

According to a release from Del. Bates, there is only one other veterans nursing facility in West Virginia. It is located in Clarksburg and has 120 beds, but Del. Bates said only about 20 of those beds provide specialized care for veterans with Alzheimer’s or dementia. The WV Department of Agriculture transferred about 17 acres of property in 2014 to build a veterans nursing home in Beckley.

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