LANSING — State Representative Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) introduced a resolution today demanding that the state properly care for the men and women who have served our country after they leave the military. The resolution is in response to Republicans cutting more than $4 million in funding from the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, resulting in more than 140 layoffs. Joining Brinks in sponsoring the resolution was state Rep. Brandon Dillon (D-Grand Rapids).

“Military service is one of the most honorable callings a citizen can pursue. After that service is over, we owe those brave men and women — especially those wounded in the line of duty — the utmost respect and care,” Brinks said. “It is disgraceful that those in control of the budgeting process would try to cut corners at the expense of our veterans.”

In an effort to save money, the state is firing unionized direct care employees at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans and replacing them with low-wage contract workers. The company awarded the contract, J2S Group Healthforce, has been accused of numerous instances of negligence and insufficient training at other facilities.

“It’s bad enough to lay off state workers in favor of less-experienced, lower-paid employees. To do so at a vets home is nothing short of appalling,” Dillon said. “If the governor’s support for veterans in his State of the State address is anything more than lip service, he’ll take a stand and reverse this insult to our brave men and women in uniform.”

The resolution was referred to the Committee on Government Operations.