Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Representative Michael Meredith of Oakland has pre-filed legislation, cosponsored by twelve other legislators including the entire Warren County delegation, appropriating $2.5 million toward the design and preconstruction of a long awaited veterans nursing home in Bowling Green. The move is a necessary step toward receiving significant federal dollars from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to get the project off the ground, especially in light of speculation that federal approval could come sooner than originally expected.
“The service and sacrifice of our veterans should always be honored with access to quality, affordable, and accessible healthcare,” Meredith, who chairs the House Local Government Committee, said. “This is a much-needed step in our efforts to secure a 90-bed facility that we have a great need for in our area.”
The measure is cosponsored by every representative serving Warren County, including Representatives Steve Sheldon, Patti Minter, Jason Petrie, Steve Riley and Wilson Stone. Also signing on were Representatives Tim Moore, Phillip Pratt, Melinda Gibbons Prunty, Brandon Reed, Bart Rowland, Walker Thomas and Ken Upchurch.
BR 125 builds on progress made on the issue in recent legislative sessions to prepare the project to receive a significantly higher match in federal funding. Meredith was instrumental in securing the original $10.5 million in matching state bond funds in the state budget for the nursing home, which a state market assessment study showed was especially needed in the southcentral Kentucky region.
According to the language of BR 125, the $2.5 million in funding would be a mid-year appropriation in Fiscal Year 2019, to be paid out of the state’s rainy day fund or year-end surplus.
“I plan to work diligently throughout 2019 and into the 2020 session to secure bipartisan support for a project that will provide a large boost in support for the men and women who have bravely served our nation,” Meredith added.
BR 125 will be considered by the General Assembly during the 2020 legislative session. Specific details of the measure can be viewed here.