The state has plenty of beds for an estimated one-thousand veterans who are on waiting lists for care at state veteran’s homes—-but it is not letting them in. However the state senate is moving to open the doors.
The state provides enough money to staff about 85-percent of the available beds in veteran’s homes. That leaves more than 13-hundred beds that cannot be occupied because of lack of staff.
Senator Tim Green of Spanish Lake says the legislature should require the state to pay for the occupancy of at least 97 percent of the beds available. But he says veterans and clients of the Department of Mental Health always seem to be on the bottom rung of the state funding ladder.
He says it’s time lawmakers quit talking about doing something for veterans…and require the budget to pay for those services.
His proposal is part of another piece of legislation that is waiting for final senate action. Time is becoming a factor, though, for bills yet to clear their original chamber. The session ends in less than a month and the bill still has to get out of the Senate and work its way through the entire House process.