State money originally earmarked to renovate the state capitol in Richmond, may be used for funding of two new veteran care centers.
Earlier this summer, Governor Terry McAuliffe cancelled a planned $300 million dollar Capitol complex renovation, citing more pressing needs in the state.
Now, Republicans in the house would like to use that money to fund the state’s share of two new veteran nursing homes, one in Hampton another in Northern Virginia.
The bills, introduced by House Majority Leader, Kirk Cox, dedicates nearly $60-million for the projects, although there are no guarantees the projects would move forward, since federal funding is not guaranteed. 65% of veteran care centers are usually funded by the federal government, while the remaining 35% is funded by the state.
The two centers would provide long-term care for veterans and would be operated by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services.
Currently there are two centers in Virginia, one in Richmond another in Salem.
According to the Virginian-Pilot, Virginia is home to more than 800,000 veterans, with the heaviest populations in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia, but ranks 44th among states in the ratio of veterans to available care centers.