Proposed Veterans Home Makes Presentation To Senate Capital Investment Committee
“Services delayed are services denied!” said Joe Vene, Legislative Liaison for the Veterans Affairs Committee. That message resonated through packed room filled with local vets, community leaders and government officials. The message was mainly for members of the Senate Capital Investments Committee who are touring the area ahead of the 2018 legislative session. For those fighting to bring a veterans home to Bemidji, this is an important step.
But after the announcement yesterday of Governor Mark Dayton’s proposed $1.5 billion bonding budget, some in the room were frustrated that Bemidji’s veterans home was not included in the governor’s bonding plan.
The governor’s office says that there is no proposed veterans home in the governor’s budget because of no official location selected. In fact, however, property at Bemidji’s Sanford Health has already been chosen as the designated location.
With other communities working to get a veterans home, the governor’s office said the legislature needs to agree on which community they would like to choose as the site for the new facility before the project can move forward.
In a room filled with passion for the cause , many echoed that Bemidji is the ideal location for a veterans home.
The governor’s office did say that if the legislature was to agree on a set location, a new veterans home could likely be added to the governor’s bonding bill.