springfield, Mo. – Gov. Jay Nixon today signed into law three bills that will help provide funding for capital improvement projects around the state, including more than $33 million for repair and renovation projects at Missouri’s seven veterans’ homes. The Governor signed copies of House Bill 17, House Bill 18 and House Bill 19 as part of his address at the state convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, which is meeting in Springfield.

“We need to ensure our veterans receive the best care we can provide, and today I am here to deliver on our promise to them,” Gov. Nixon said. “This past January, I called on legislators to finish the job they started last year when they authorized additional bonding capacity by passing the necessary bills to get these projects underway, and I appreciate the bi-partisan fashion in which they accomplished this. And because of the strong AAA credit rating that reflects our strong record of fiscal responsibility, Missouri taxpayers are going to save up to $30 million over the life of those bonds.”

As a result of a strong record of fiscally responsible budget management, Missouri has a AAA credit rating from all three major rating agencies.  This allows the state to benefit from low interest rates, and makes long-term capital investments more affordable.  For example, Missouri taxpayers will save $30 million over the life of these bonds compared to a state with an A- rating.

Missouri is home to more than 494,000 military veterans, and has veterans’ homes to serve older and disabled veterans in Cameron, Cape Girardeau, Mexico, Mount Vernon, St. James, St. Louis and Warrensburg. The capital improvement projects that will be funded through the bills signed into law today by Gov. Nixon include:

n  Cameron Veterans’ Home – Replace sprinkler pipe systems, chiller, water softeners, cooling tower, boilers and exterior doors, and make electrical upgrades;

n  Cape Girardeau Veterans’ Home – Renovate nurses’ stations, kitchenette and restrooms, and replace nurse call and fire alarm systems, boilers, water heaters, sump pump and hot water circulating pumps, and exterior doors;

n  Mexico Veterans’ Home – Renovate bariatric shower rooms, and replace nurse call and fire alarm systems, chillers, water softener, cooling tower and flooring;

n  Mount Vernon Veterans’ Home – Renovate kitchen hood and system, and replace hot water circulating pumps, pool pack, water heaters, chillers, cooling tower, backflow preventers, pump pack, sprinkler system and boilers;

n  St. James Veterans’ Home – Interior renovations including a solarium, and replace nurse call and fire alarm systems;

n  St. Louis Veterans’ Home – Renovate the front entrance and lobby, construct storage building, upgrade lighting, and replace air handlers, water heaters and anti-scald devices;

n  Warrensburg Veterans’ Home – Replace nurse call and fire alarm systems, sprinkler pipe systems, exterior doors, chillers, boilers and water softeners, and make electrical upgrades.

The funding also will allow the state to make improvements statewide at the homes in the areas of electronic medical records and anti-wander systems, and have funding for critical maintenance and repair. Approximately $700,000 will be available for improvements to state veterans’ cemeteries in Jacksonville, St. James and Springfield.

In addition to repair and renovations at the veterans’ homes, the three bills signed today contain funding for capital improvement projects at a variety of higher education campuses around Missouri; state buildings, including the Capitol; and state parks.

(Courtesy of Governor Jay Nixon Public Affairs)

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