Veterans Commission Seeks Lottery Funds

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JEFFERSON CITY - A bill to make some lottery scratch tickets proceeds go to the Missouri Veterans Commission's Housing fund had its final vote moved from Wednesday to Thursday. The bill, which is expected to pass, would help the VA's seven nursing homes stay open. Those homes, including one in Mexico, serve over 1,300 veterans statewide.

Since this bill makes an amendment to the state's constitution, it will face a general election vote on the ballot in November, if it first passes the House and Senate. The bill has support from members on both sides of the aisle, but most said this measure is only a part of the solution.

"This bill will help keep these nursing homes running, and pay for other crucial Veterans Commission functions," the bill's sponsor Sheila Solon, R-Blue Springs, said. "If we do nothing the budget will run out in 2013, so it's extremely important we get something done now to keep these programs going."

Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, a co-sponsor of the bill, said, "Without this funding we might have to close one of those nursing homes and we don't want to have to do that.

Officials from the MO Veterans Commission said their glad the funding looks to be moving forward. They said they're excited because simialar bills have been successful in states across the country, including Kansas.

If the bill passes both houses it would be put on the ballot November 6, 2012.