Sen. Robert Brown listens more than he talks-a rare and useful trait in a politician, but today, he issued a rare press statement on the closing of the Georgia War Veteran's Home. Sen. Brown is exactly right about the confused, misplaced priorities of this republican administration. While they give lip service to honoring those who serve in uniform, they fail to follow through with real help when it matters most, preferring instead to fund "Go Fish Georgia" and protect special interest tax breaks for those who need them the least. Here are Brown's remarks:
Just before Labor Day, some of Georgia's best people – residents of the Georgia War Veterans Home – received some instructions from Governor Perdue: "Get out."
Georgia veterans living in the Veterans Home received the astonishing notice that they have 90 days to vacate because the Governor chose to close the facility due to the state's budget problems. Closing the Veterans Home will save $2.7 million in a budget of over $20 BILLION.
Senate Democratic Leader and member of the Veterans and Military Affairs Committee Robert Brown condemned the move: "The sound of Republican patriotic rhetoric praising our veterans rings hollow in Georgia. Indeed, Georgia Republicans add insult to injury by ordering some of our most vulnerable veterans to celebrate Veteran's Day this November by packing their bags and joining the homeless."
Meanwhile, the Governor has not cut funds for his "Go Fish!" program, or any of the $13.5 million set aside in this year's budget for a horse farm. These funds have been earmarked for the Governor's home of Houston County. "I am certain," Brown said, "that the people of Georgia, especially Houston County with its large enlisted and veteran population, would gladly delay new fishing and equestrian opportunities for a year or so if they knew it would benefit Georgia's veterans."
"It is shameful for Georgia to cast aside veterans, especially at time the United States is at war. Many of the veterans living at the Georgia War Veterans Home sustained life-changing wounds and witnessed other warriors pay the ultimate sacrifice. Americans should be outraged that the Republican governor of this state places so little value on the lives of our most vulnerable veterans," Brown said.
Senator Brown has served in the Senate since 1991. He represents Twiggs and parts of Bibb (Macon), Wilkinson and Houston Counties. He serves on six important committees, Administrative Affairs, Judiciary, Insurance and Labor, Economic Development, Reapportionment and Redistricting, and Veterans and Military Affairs. He is serving a second term as Senate Democratic Leader, one of the top three leaders elected by members of the Senate.