Missouri’s lieutenant governor says there’s both a waiting list and open bed space at the state’s seven veterans homes, because the state Department of Public Safety (DPS) doesn’t have enough staff.
Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe (R) spoke on 939 the Eagle’s “Wake Up Mid-Missouri.”
“I mean how embarrassing is this. We’re the fifth-largest (state) in the United States with 475,000 veterans. We don’t have enough staff to take care of our heroes at our seven veterans homes”
Kehoe is urging state lawmakers to approve the governor’s proposed 8.7 percent pay raise for state employees, saying it would help the veterans homes and Missouri veterans. The Missouri Veterans Commission, which is part of DPS, operates seven veterans homes, including one in mid-Missouri’s Mexico. Kehoe emphasizes that the lack of staff is not the fault of the Missouri Veterans Commission, but rather is due to competition from the marketplace.
“The last year-and-a-half to two years wages, salaries prices especially in health care have gone through the roof. And so you can’t go out and hire people for any business right now when you’re 20 and 30 percent below what the market pays”
Governor Parson’s call drew bipartisan applause during Wednesday’s State of the State Address.
The Missouri Veterans Homes have a total of 1,238 beds that provide long-term skilled nursing care in compliance with federal VA regulations. The homes are located in mid-Missouri’s Mexico, as well as Cameron, Cape Girardeau, Mount Vernon, St. James, St. Louis and Warrensburg.
Click here to listen to the full “Wake Up Mid-Missouri” interview with Missouri Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe.