(L-R standing: Major General Gregory Vadnais, Senator David Knezek, Senator Dave Hildenbrand, Senator Jim Stamas, Senator Peter MacGregor, Representative David Rutledge, and Director James Redford. Sitting: Governor Rick Snyder.)
Legislation championed by Sen. Knezek will lead to 5 new veterans homes built across Michigan
LANSING, MI – State Senator David Knezek (D-Dearborn Heights) is pleased to announce that the legislature has approved a four bill package that will create a governmental authority to oversee the construction and management of five new veterans’ homes across the state. Senator Knezek was one of the original authors of the legislation that Governor Snyder recently signed into law during a ceremony in Lansing.
The legislation was the product of an intensive workgroup that met over the summer of 2016 to develop a vision and plan for veterans health services after a state audit uncovered mismanagement and improper resident care at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans earlier that year. After pressing the state for the construction of new veterans homes since he was first elected in 2012, Senator Knezek was one of four legislators to be appointed to the workgroup.
“I am proud that my colleagues and I were able to unite in a bipartisan way to build a brighter future for veterans and their families in Michigan,” said Knezek, who served two tours of duty in the United States Marine Corps as a Scout Sniper Platoon member. “We have set lofty, yet achievable, goals to allow veterans to age within their homes with a supportive environment, to tackle veteran homelessness, and build a community for veterans and their families.”
The Authority will execute the taskforce’s vision of building veterans homes and health and service centers over six phases and within every region of the state. Additionally, it will have the ability to become financially self-sustaining, thus relieving pressure from the state’s general fund. Southeast Michigan is slated to receive two of the five new homes that are to be built, including one within Metropolitan Detroit.
“One of the taskforce’s driving motivators was to find ways to meet and support veterans wherever they may be. The new veterans’ homes that will be constructed over the coming years intend to be world class facilities and the center of our state’s renewed effort to help take care of veterans at every stage in their lives. I am proud to see the health care of our veterans’ rise to a priority level for my colleagues in the Michigan House and Senate. I’ve been fighting and advocating on this issue for years; it’s wonderful to finally see it come to fruition,” said Sen. Knezek.