The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

June 13, 2012
New hope for new veterans homes in Fresno and Redding?
It's possible that new veterans homes in Fresno and Redding will open sooner than planned.

After an intense campaign by veterans and local legislators, the Senate Budget Committee this week joined its Assembly counterpart in allocating $10.6 million to start ramping up operations in January and get veterans into the homes by July 2013.

That's six months earlier than scheduled in Gov. Jerry Brown's budget, which calls for keeping them shuttered until at least January 2014. Until then, the state would spend some $280,000 a month for basic maintenance.

As I wrote last November, that doesn't seem to make a lot of sense.

There are veterans waiting to get into these homes. And the state and federal governments have already spent tons of money to build them. The 300-bed home in Fresno cost $159 million, while the 150-bed home in Redding cost $88 million

But the continuing budget crunch makes the fate of the money uncertain at best as negotiations go until the last minutes before Friday's deadline.

Even if the Legislature signs off, there's no sign yet that the governor would go along.

Assemblyman Henry Perea, a Fresno Democrat, is urging veterans and their supporters to call Brown's office. "The Legislature is sending a clear message to the governor that our veterans are a priority," Assemblymember Perea said in a statement today. "This fight is not over yet."

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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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