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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2004

Gov. Blagojevich's Capital Budget helps meet demand of aging veteran’s population
Budget proposals allow for long-term care expansion and improvement for Illinois Veterans' Homes

SPRINGFIELD - To meet the growing population of aging veterans, Governor Blagojevich today unveiled plans for an 80-bed expansion at the Illinois Veterans Home in LaSalle. A major project to upgrade the fire detection and alarm system to one standard and uniform system throughout the 13 active buildings has also been slated for the Manteno Veterans Home.
                       
There have traditionally been more than 300 eligible veterans on the waiting list at the Veterans Home in LaSalle resulting in an estimated 18-month wait for admission. The 80-bed expansion will allow for the significant need in additional care in this region of the State.
 
Other projects proposed will include expansion of emergency exit landings and ramps, upgrading the storm sewer system and Phase II of a humidifier/dehumidifier system at the Manteno Veterans Home and the replacement of HVAC equipment and controls at the Quincy Veterans Home.
 
"The proposal of these projects signifies the Governor's concern about the care of our veterans,” Director Roy Dolgos said. “The veteran community will be very pleased that the need for additional skilled care facilities has been recognized by the administration".
 
All of the proposed project costs, once completed, are eligible for a 65% reimbursement from the federal Department of Veterans Affairs through their State Home Grant Program. In the last 5 years, the State of Illinois has received more than $7 million in reimbursement from this program for completed projects.
 
These proposed projects will strengthen our commitment in fulfilling the mission of providing the highest quality of care and service to the veterans of the State.


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