A bill has been introduced in the Virginia state legislature to provide state funding for a new health care center for veterans in Hampton Roads, The facility would supplement the care provided by the Hampton VA Medical Center.
The new center has been proposed before, but funding was stalled. Now, a dispute over a new legislative office building may end up benefiting veterans. After Gov. Terry McAuliffe said he would not move forward with plans for a $300 million Capitol Square building, a bill was introduced earmarking part of the funding for the veterans’ health care center.
The bill, HB 1275, would dedicate $28.5 million in state bonds for the center, and the funds would come out of money previously intended to replace the General Assembly Building. The center is intended to be funded jointly by the federal government and state government, but it remains unclear whether federal funding would be forthcoming.
Last month, Gov. McAuliffe ordered work on the new legislative building halted, saying that spending $300 million on a new building for legislators sent the wrong message at a time of fiscal constraint.
There are over 800,000 veterans in Virginia, but the state ranks 44th in the ratio of veterans to available health care centers.
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