We have reaction from both sides of the political isle after funding for the Fresno Veterans Home was slashed again.
The cuts mean the opening of the facility, which is completed, will be delayed even longer.
Republican Assemblywoman Linda Halderman says funding for the home has been cut by more than half, which will push back the opening of the facility until October of 2013. "In my mind, it's a betrayal. It's yet again, this governor breaking a promise to veterans who already served, who were already told that this is what they would be given in exchange for their service," said Assemblywoman Halderman.
Assemblywoman Halderman told CBS47 News that funding to open both the Fresno and Redding Veterans Homes was cut from $10.6 million to $4.2 million.
Veteran Charlie Waters, an outspoken supporter of the Fresno Veterans Home, is not happy about the cuts. "This is despicable, leading us on all these years. Yes we're going to have it open. No we can't right now. Yes we can. No we can't, but we can give you money. Then all of a sudden the money is gone. You know, up and down. This is not right," said Waters.
Assemblyman Henry T. Perea sees the announcement as progress, not necessarily a set back. "So I'm very optimistic and very excited that we have secured funding in this budget to open up the home next year."
Originally, lawmakers earmarked $26 million to open both the Fresno and Redding Veterans Homes. That was then cut to $10.6 million - and then reduced to just $4.2 million, which is nowhere near enough to open either facility according to Halderman. "What that does is allow some personnel to be hired but it does not allow the admission of a single veteran," said Halderman.
Perea says both facilities will be on track to open in the fall of 2013, which is why he supports the budget plan. "As far as I'm concerned, if any Valley legislator wants to be helpful for our veterans, they should vote for this budget tomorrow," said Perea.
According to Halderman's office, the Fresno Veterans Home could potentially start the process of accepting residents in about a year and a half from now, in October of 2013.