In a ceremony today at the Mt. Vernon Veterans Home, Gov. Jay Nixon signed copies of legislation providing a dedicated funding source for Missouri's seven veterans homes, where more than 1,300 military veterans live. The legislation ensures that the homes will have the resources they need to provide high-quality, modern care in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, and beyond.
"We can never fully repay our military heroes for their services and sacrifice to our nation," Gov. Nixon said. "But we can keep our commitment to our veterans by ensuring that Missouri's veterans homes will continue to have the resources needed to provide quality care to our heroes. When funding for Missouri's veterans homes was at risk of running out, we worked together to find a bipartisan solution. This legislation supports a sustainable and long-term plan for our veterans homes by providing a dedicated source of funding for their ongoing operations. I am proud to sign this legislation into law."
House Bill 1731 increases the transfer amount from the Missouri Gaming Commission Fund to the Veterans' Commission Capital Improvement Trust Fund, providing a dedicated annual funding source of $32 million for the ongoing operations of Missouri veterans homes and cemeteries. This dedicated funding source will help avoid a revenue shortfall in upcoming fiscal years and will also allow home administrators to better prepare for future home replacements or repairs, Gov. Nixon said.
The Governor had included full funding of Missouri's veterans homes in his budget proposal to the General Assembly in January. The final legislation establishing the full funding and dedicated revenue source received strong bipartisan support in both legislative chambers. With the Governor's signature, this legislation goes into effect July 1, 2012.
To learn more about Missouri's veterans homes, please visit MO.gov.