The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

January 24, 2012
More chances to speak out on Redding, Fresno veterans homes
Veterans and their supporters will get another chance to state their case about opening veterans homes in Redding and Fresno on time.

The state Department of Veterans Affairs, which will run the homes, said today that it will hold two town halls -- one in Redding on Friday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the City Council chambers, and one in Fresno on Feb. 3.

The $88 million, 150-bed home in Redding is largely finished, while the $159 million, 300-bed home in Fresno is to be completed in April.

Because of the state budget crunch, however, the state hasn't found the money to staff them and open them to residents.

Under Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal, the homes wouldn't open until January 2014 -- a year later than now scheduled. Instead, the governor's 2012-13 spending plan includes $3.3 million to just maintain the two homes.

Local legislators, Democrats and Republicans, are also trying to drum up public pressure to open the homes sooner.

Assemblyman Henry Perea, a Fresno Democrat, has created a Facebook page for supporters to register their feelings.

"Our men and women in uniform served our country with honor and they deserve better than being put at the bottom of our list of priorities," Perea said in a statement. "Over the next few months we need to send a message to Governor Brown and legislative leaders that our veterans need this home now!"

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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