Governor Rick Snyder is expected to make a decision soon on changes to Michigan’s veterans’ homes.
Before the end of session, the Legislature sent him a package of bills that would create a new Veterans Authority. It could create more veterans homes in the state – currently there are only two. The authority would be run by a board and they would be required to give annual reports to the governor and Legislature.
Bill sponsor Sen. Dave Hildenbrand, R-Lowell, said the legislation creates a modern authority with people who understand healthcare.
“We had to hit the reset button and put together kind of a strategy on how to in the future, put together a system that can provide the best care possible for our veterans in Michigan,” he said.
The legislation came after an audit of the Grand Rapids veterans’ home found a plethora of problems including staff shortages and mishandling of complaints.
Democrat Winnie Brinks is the State Representative for Grand Rapids. She said the authority is a step in the right direction for protecting veterans.
“I think it’s, it’s high time that we sort of modernize and update the system of care for the veterans in our state,” she said.
Governor Snyder has already signed legislation approving funding to construct two new facilities. One would replace the aging Grand Rapids home and the other would build a brand-new facility in Detroit.