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Kentucky Senate panel advances additional funding for Bowling Green veterans nursing home

Lisa Autry
WKU Public Radio

The Kentucky Senate advanced a bill Wednesday providing additional funding for a long term care facility for military veterans in Bowling Green, sending the measure to the full Senate.

House Bill Two would reappropriate $16.6 million from the commonwealth’s Budget Reserve Trust Fund to address cost overruns at the long-term care facility. Skyrocketing construction costs ballooned the initial $30 million price tag.

The General Assembly previously approved a $30 million cost share with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to build the facility, with the federal government providing $20 million and the state government covering $10 million. Warren County Republican Rep. Michael Meredith said Frankfort is on the hook for most of the new cost overages, with the exception of a built-in variance of the original amount sponsored by federal leaders.

“We were over budget about $18 million total when the bids came in,” Meredith told committee members. “The federal government was able to pick up a ten percent variance of the amount they were supposed to pick up.”

Construction on the center broke ground late last year. The facility fills a need for long-term veteran care in southern Kentucky. Currently, veterans requiring a nursing home stay must travel to Radcliff, Hazard, Hanson or Wilmore.

House Bill Two passed out of the House of Representatives during the first week of the legislative session, paving the way for Governor Andy Beshear’s signature if final passage is obtained in the Senate.

Dalton York joined WKU Public Radio in December 2021 as a reporter and host of Morning Edition. He graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in History from Murray State University, and was named MSU's Outstanding Senior Man for fall 2021. He previously served as a student reporter and All Things Considered host for WKMS, part of the Kentucky Public Radio network. He has won multiple Kentucky Associated Press Awards and Impact Broadcast Awards from the Kentucky Broadcasters Association. A native of Marshall County, Dalton is a proud product of his tight-knit community.
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