Saturday, June 11, 2011

Congressman Gregory W. Meeks Introduces St. Albans Veterans Care Act - Action Needed NOW..!

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Congressman Gregory W. Meeks (NY-6) introduced H.R. 1799, The St. Albans Veterans Care Act, to stop the Enhanced Use Lease Process (EUL) for the St. Albans VA in the Sixth Congressional District of New York on May 6, 2011. Additionally, Congressman Meeks will be offering an amendment to H.R. 2005, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012.

This bill addresses the concerns of the current EUL process that has been designed by the Department of Veterans Affairs for the St. Albans VA in the Sixth Congressional District. This process is one that is highly unfavorable to veterans due to the VA’s hiring of a private developer to develop on federal property, a proposal veterans in both communities are strongly against.

The CARES (Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services) process began in May 2005, followed by the Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) process in 2006, and release of the RFP in 2007 for the St. Albans Campus. Under the VA’s EUL, the present St. Albans facility would be modernized with funds gained by leasing 25 acres of the property for private development.

Additionally, this bill also addresses the VA’s plan for not including the construction of a full service hospital, which veterans in the vicinity have adamantly expressed the need for. By not including a full service hospital, veterans from Queens and Long Island will have to travel more than an hour to the nearest full service veteran’s hospital. This decision by the VA was based on a study conducted in 2004 that did not take into account returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their needs.

“Veterans in my district and across Metropolitan New York, many of whom are currently returning from brave service in Iraq and Afghanistan, deserve a full service Veterans Affairs hospital to support their medical needs. The redevelopment plan promulgated by the Department of Veterans Affairs sadly neglects the views of these courageous men and women, instead leasing government property for private development. Therefore, in representing their views, I introduced this bill to immediately stop the EUL process and prevent the destruction to the fabric of my community that a private developer would cause,” stated Congressman Meeks.


We need your help today!!  The legislation to terminate the EUL(privatization) for St. Albans VA will be voted on the floor of Congress this Monday.  We need everyone to call the Representatives listed below on Monday 13th and urge them to sign on to the Bill and vote in support of this legislation.

We are asking you to
call the following N.Y.S. Representative's offices(these representatives had not signed on to this bill when it was put before them.). Please let the House Representative know that:
The New York State Veterans Community is requesting your support of HR Bill 1799 which will be presented for a vote on Monday June 13th 2011.  Please vote YES to this very important piece of legislation.

Representative           District#                      Washington#
Rep Nan Hayworth      (845) 206-4600           (202) 225-5441
Rep Paul Tonko            (518) 843-3400            (202) 225-5076
Rep Maurice Hinchey  (607) 273-1388            (202) 225-6335
Rep Chris Gibson         (518) 610-8133             (202) 225-5614
Rep Bill Owens            (315) 782-3150            (202) 225-4611
Rep Richard Hanna      (315) 252-6700           (202) 225-3665
Ann Marie Buerkle      (585) 336-7291           (202) 225-3701
Kathy Hochul               (716) 634-2324           (202) 225-5265
Brian Higgins               (716) 852-3501           (202) 225-3306
Louise Slaughter         (716) 853-5813           (202) 225-3615
Tom Reed                    (585) 218-0040          (202) 225-3161
There is strength in numbers- let us come together as a community and get this bill passed!!!!