Legislature(2001 - 2002)

05/12/2002 01:50 PM RLS

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATOR THERRIAULT  moved to  adopt Version  P of SB  55-PIONEERS'                                                          
AND  VETERANS' HOME/ADVISORY  BD as  the working  document of  the                                                          
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS announced that  without objection, Version P was                                                              
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT informed members  that he met with Commissioner                                                              
Duncan the previous  day.  The new language in  Version P provides                                                              
that the  effective  date will take  place when  the agreement  is                                                              
signed by  both parties. Copies of  the agreement will be  sent to                                                              
the revisor of statutes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  JIM  DUNCAN,  Department  of  Administration  (DOA),                                                              
explained that substantial  progress has been made  in the ongoing                                                              
negotiations  between the  DOA and  Veterans Administration  (VA).                                                              
Section  24 provides that  when those  negotiations are  completed                                                              
satisfactorily,  meaning  that  veterans who  reside  in  Pioneers                                                              
Homes  could  receive per  diem  payments  from  the VA  and  that                                                              
ownership and  management of the  Pioneers Homes will  remain with                                                              
the  state, copies  of the  agreement  would be  presented to  the                                                              
revisor  of  statutes   and  the  Legislative  Budget   and  Audit                                                              
Committee. The bill will take effect upon signing.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT  pointed out the new fiscal  note contains half                                                              
of  the   original  request.  He   asked  if  DOA   will  continue                                                              
negotiating to get  VA benefits for existing residents  if less or                                                              
no funding is provided.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUNCAN  said DOA would. He said he  really hopes some                                                              
funding is  provided because  DOA would like  to see  an increased                                                              
benefit  to  veterans  and  pioneers  alike as  a  result  of  the                                                              
negotiations.  However,  the  negotiations  do not  hinge  on  the                                                              
funding level; they  hinge on the provision in  the legislation to                                                              
rename the Pioneer Homes and on the veteran preference on beds.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HALFORD   moved  to  calendar   CSSB  55(RLS)   with  its                                                              
accompanying fiscal note.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELLIS's presence was noted.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS  announced that without objection,  CSSB 55(RLS)                                                              
would be calendared.                                                                                                            

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