“I’m deeply disappointed that Gov. Rick Snyder is recommending that operating funding for the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans be cut by $424,900 in the coming fiscal year. The quality of care for residents at the home has been an ongoing concern for several years. Last year, I was troubled when the home temporarily suspended food service for residents’ visitors. Just last week, we learned there was an emergency staffing problem at the facility, which required the home to rely on volunteers and call in additional state workers in order to meet federal staffing requirements. The governor’s proposal of $5 million for remodeling, while simultaneously cutting the operating budget by hundreds of thousands of dollars, will result in a continued failure to meet the immediate needs of staffing shortages and patient care. Our veterans deserve more than a renovation at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. They deserve the best quality of care that we can give them, and that’s not possible on the budget the governor proposes. I urge my colleagues to do the right thing and invest in the men and women who served our country.”