Governor Walker announced today his support for legislation being introduced by State Senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) and Representative Robin Vos (R-Rochester) to convert Gates Hall on the campus of the Veterans Home at Union Grove into a skilled nursing facility for area veterans. The conversion of Gates Hall would take one year to complete and would eliminate a waiting list of veterans needing care.
"Our Veterans deserve high-quality care," said Governor Walker. "The legislation being introduced by Senator Wanggaard and Representative Vos will help us meet the needs of more veterans. I want to thank them for bringing this legislation forward."
"There is a vital need for skilled nursing facilities for our veterans," said Wanggaard. "We must maintain and adapt our facilities to address the changing needs of those who bravely served our country."
Gates Hall is currently an assisted living facility, serving 42 veterans. The conversion to a 38-bed skilled nursing facility would cost $4.9 million, 65% of which would be federally funded. The remaining cost would be covered by existing program revenue from the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs.
"We need to make the necessary adjustments to our state facilities so our veterans get the care they deserve," said Rep. Vos.
The conversion of Gates Hall is also anticipated to generate $2 million in annual revenue for the Veterans Home at Union Grove, strengthening the solvency of the Veteran's Trust Fund.
"Our top priority is to provide quality services to those veterans residing in our state home," WI Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary John Scocos said. "This legislation will help us to meet the demand of our veterans for additional skilled nursing while also ensuring the future fiscal stability of our home at Union Grove."
Sen. Wanggaard and Rep. Vos plan to introduce a bill authorizing the conversion next week. They anticipate that the bill will pass before the end of March.