Relocation bill could stall Veteran's Home building - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Relocation bill could stall Veteran's Home building

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By: Jenn Hatcher
jhatcher@klkntv.com

Did the governor have too much say, when it comes to moving the Central Nebraska Veterans Home?

Some say yes, and want changes.

"LB 935 would add a layer of justification, accountability and transparency," explains State Senator Mike Gloor of Grand Island.

Gloor wants to add a legislative process to any proposed relocation of a state service facility, costing $15 million or more.

This comes seven months after the governor accepted a bid to move the Central Nebraska Veterans home from Grand Island to Kearney.

"It is within the Governors constitutional authority to do this and that's why I'm bringing this legislation forward," says Gloor.

With Gloor's bill a state agency considering relocation would have to draw up a report for the judiciary committee to investigate and at least one hearing would be held.

The committee would then take a decision to the floor for a vote.

"A relocation decision, once again of this magnitude, this complex and this far reaching, should be entrusted for accountability to the 49 state legislatures and the governor," says Grand Island Mayor, Jay Vavricek.

Former Director of Veterans Affairs, Keith Fickenscher adds, "These issues cry out for a debate on the floor."

"Please move LB 935 forward and take these types of issues out of the Governors office," is how Former Grand Island Mayor, Ken Gnadt ends his testimony.

John Hilgert, with the veteran's home division spoke on behalf of the governor.

"It was transparent, we posted what we were looking for, we posted the proposals and we posted the results so we believe it was a fair process," says John Hilgert.

The governor's office believes the bill is unnecessary, especially one clause, a retroactive clause.

Meaning if passed, the selection process for the veteran's home could start all over.

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