SACRAMENTO (June 13, 2012) - Assemblyman Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber), Vice Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, released the following statement today pointing out the one positive proposal in an otherwise dubious budget; inclusion of funding for the Redding and Fresno Veterans Homes. Nielsen praised the Senate Budget & Fiscal Review Committee for adopting the proposal previously passed by the Assembly Budget Committee to fund the Veterans Homes. Nielsen, however, expressed his continued disappointment regarding the Democrat proposed State Budget discussed yesterday during an Assembly Budget Committee hearing.
"There are many things to dislike about the budget plan being cobbled together behind closed doors by the Democrats at the State Capitol. For starters, the Democrats' budget plan is being crafted behind closed doors, without accountability to taxpayers or the news media, and yesterday the Budget Committee did not even take a vote on the budget, and will not before the budget comes to the floor of the Assembly on Friday. Taxpayers deserve better," said Nielsen. "But there is one positive thing in a dire budget which is based on gimmicks and shifting of funds and taxes. That is the proposed inclusion of funds for opening both the Redding and Fresno Veterans Homes. One of my most important budget priorities over the last four years has been working to secure the funding necessary to open our new Veterans Home in Redding."
Nielsen said that last year, the Legislature took a short-sighted budget action to cut funding to open the veterans home in Redding, along with a new one being finished in Fresno. This cut amounted to $12.1 million in the budget, which is peanuts in a budget approaching close to $92 billion in spending.
"Not only is restoring the funds the right thing to do in following through with a commitment to our heroes, but these homes are completed and ready to operate and keeping them vacant for other two years would create more problems for which we would have to account at a later time," said Nielsen. "In the coming days, I am hopeful that our local Veterans homes will receive the funding they need. But, as it is still in the works, I am very cautions. This proposal still needs to be voted on and signed by the Governor. In an otherwise bleak budget year, I am hopeful that the Governor and the Legislature will do the right thing and open our Redding Veterans home once and for all."