A proposal that would have asked voters to allow the sale of bonds to pay for one more veterans home in Missouri fell short in the legislative session that just ended, but its sponsor tells Missourinet he won’t lose anything by getting it passed in 2016 instead.
The proposal offered by Representative Lindell Shumake (R-Hannibal) would have asked voters to approve $50-million in bonding.
Daniel Bell with the Missouri Veterans Commissions says there is a need for more skilled nursing care for veterans.
“We currently have seven veterans home in the state with a total of 1,350 beds. On our waiting list altogether, we have about 1,900 veterans waiting to get into our homes,” Bell told Missourinet.
A new home would provide 150 beds.
Shumake said he will offer the proposal again in 2016, and said nothing would be lost by passing it then instead of in the past session.
“It would not have been able to get onto the ballot before 2016 anyway,” said Shumake. “If we can pass it through both houses next year and it would be qualified to go onto a general election ballot, then timewise we would be in the same timeframe.”
The resolution made it out of the House this year but was one of the issues that never came to a vote in the Senate, during the filibuster that followed a vote on “right to work.”
During House debate of the proposal, Representative Glen Kolkmeyer (R-Odessa) said he experienced for himself the need for more beds for Missouri’s veterans when the health of his father, a Korean War veteran, turned in January.
“I got my dad on the list and they told me it was a 14-month waiting list to get my dad into Warrensburg,” said Kolkmeyer. “Ladies and gentlemen, we need to do better.”
Kolkmeyer’s father died in April.