Assemblyman Obernolte Strongly Objects to the Governor’s Proposed Closure of Barstow Veterans Home

SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblyman Obernolte (R-Hesperia) issued the following statement on Governor Newsom’s May Revision budget proposal calling for the closure of the Barstow Veterans Home.

“I am extremely disappointed that Governor Newsom is proposing to close our veteran home in Barstow due to the State’s budget deficit. It’s unconscionable to balance the budget on the backs of our veterans and even worse to displace the 200 residents who currently call this home – some who have lived here ever since it opened.”

“As the Vice Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee and a member of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee and the Budget Conference Committee, I will fight against this proposal. The Governor may propose the budget, but the Legislature writes it and I will not idly sit by and allow this home to be closed. Closing it will only save the state $400,000 in this budget year, but the loss of per-diem paid to the state by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for these residents will cost $3 million per year. That math simply doesn’t add up.

“This veteran’s home was originally opened due to its unique proximity to multiple military installations, including Barstow Marine Corps Logistics Base, the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Base, the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station, and Edwards Air Force Base. Our community has one of the highest concentrations of veterans in the state, and the support for this home is overwhelming. I am committed to ensuring that this home remains a part of our community.”