Assembly Bill to Construct 500-Bed Veterans’ Home in West Los Angeles Prompts Concerns from Lawmakers
Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson (D-Culver City) last week proposed a bill (AB 2559) that would reduce the number of beds at two veterans' homes in Lancaster and Saticoy and establish a home in West Los Angeles, which has prompted criticism from some lawmakers, the Los Angeles Times reports. In 2000, California voters approved a $50 million proposal to fund 400-bed veterans' homes in Lancaster and Saticoy, as well as $24 million for the future construction of additional veterans' homes at unspecified sites. The Department of Veterans Affairs also agreed to provide as much as $55 million next year for the construction. Wesson's bill would reduce the planned Lancaster and Saticoy veterans' homes to 300 beds and establish a 500-bed home in West Los Angeles. Several lawmakers from both parties have expressed concerns that the legislation would place a "coveted project" in Wesson's district at the expense of other veterans' projects, a debate that marks the "latest entry in the Legislature's long-running pork-barrel battle" to serve an increasing number of veterans, the Times reports. A committee that advises Gov. Gray Davis (D) has "strongly recommended" a veterans' home in the Los Angeles area, where 30% of the state's veterans reside (Ingram, Los Angeles Times, 4/29).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.