Fresno Bee Calls Out Local Politicians for Silence on Veterans' Homes Cuts

Posted by Nick Kump at Jul 08, 2011 10:58 AM |
Jim Boren of the Fresno Bee has rightly chastised local politicians for their silence and broken promises when it comes to cuts to two crucial veterans' homes in Redding and Fresno. These homes are part of nearly $40 million in cuts to veterans.

Please take the opportunity to use this sample letter from the Veterans of Foreign Wars to voice your concerns with Governor Brown's budget proposal.

FRESNO BEE: Veterans Homes in Fresno and Redding Get Delayed in Last-Minute Budget Vote

by Jim Boren on July 7, 2011 11:46 AM |

Last year, then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and other officials broke ground on the Fresno veterans home and promised the facility would be open in 2012. (The photo at the right was of the preparation for the groundbreaking ceremony.) There were many speeches by politicians talking about their commitment to veterans. But that was just talk and when it came to taking action, the Legislature forgot the many promises they made to veterans. In a last-minute state budget maneuver, lawmakers shut down funding for veterans homes in Fresno and Redding. Last week's budget cut will delay the openings of the two facilities for at least a year.

Bobby Price, state commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Department, said the delay is an injustice to veterans who have fought for this country.

"The primary budget bill would require an intolerable year-long delay to 150-bed veterans' homes being constructed in Redding and Fresno, denying necessary services to those citizens who have spent their lives protecting our nation," Price said.

But you haven't heard a peep out of local politicians since this project was mothballed for at least a year. But in May 2010, they were raving about the Fresno facility being home to 300 veterans and generating 400 permanent jobs. City officials were even saying the $158 million project in southwest Fresno would help economic development in one of Fresno's poorest neighborhoods.

Mayor Ashley Swearengin issued this statement after this post orginally went up:

"The Veterans Home is a critically important project both for our local veterans and our local economy. Under my direction, City staff already is working with the local Veterans Home committee and our Congressional and state delegations on possible solutions to getting the project back on track."

File photo by John Walker/The Fresno Bee: Gordon Picket of the Central California Veterans Home Support Foundation puts an MIA cover on a chair that will remain empty on the stage, in honor of those in military service missing in action, for the groundbreaking ceremony for the $158 million veterans home at Marks and California Avenues, in May 2010.

Personal tools