In a ceremony today at the Mexico Veterans Home, Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation providing a dedicated funding source for Missouri's seven veterans homes, where more than 1,300 military veterans live. The legislation ensures that the homes will have the resources they need to provide high-quality, modern care in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, and beyond.
"Our veterans homes provide outstanding modern care and medical services for more than 1,300 Missourians who fought to defend America and promote freedom and liberty throughout the world," Gov. Nixon said. "While we can never fully repay the sacrifices these heroes made for our country, we must uphold our commitment to make sure Missouri veterans receive the quality care they need and deserve. This legislation provides a dedicated source of funding as part of a sustainable and long-term plan for our veterans homes, and I'm proud to sign it into law."
House Bill 1731 increases the transfer amount from the Missouri Gaming Commission Fund to the Veterans' Commission Capital Improvement Trust Fund, providing a dedicated annual funding source of $32 million for the ongoing operations of Missouri veterans homes and cemeteries. This dedicated funding source will help avoid a revenue shortfall in upcoming fiscal years and will also allow home administrators to better prepare for future home replacements or repairs, Gov. Nixon said.
The Governor had included full funding of Missouri's veterans homes in his budget proposal to the General Assembly in January. The final legislation establishing the full funding and dedicated revenue source received strong bipartisan support in both legislative chambers. With the Governor's signature, this legislation goes into effect July 1, 2012.